All Blacks invite Oz 'spies'
Sydney - Before the first Bledisloe Cup match in Melbourne, the All Blacks banished a photographer for shooting - and distributing - an image of Graham Henry holding a copy of their moves to Australian media outlets.
GALLERY: All Blacks train
GALLERY: Springboks v Wallabies, Bloemfontein
These days, with the trans-Tasman trophy secure for a seventh straight year and the Tri-Nations crown regained from South Africa, the All Blacks management are evidently in a more relaxed frame of mind.
For proof, consider the involvement of four Waratahs squad members at their training run in Sydney on Monday, the first practice session ahead of Saturday's clash with the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium.
Waratahs Academy squad members Locky McCaffrey, Damon Anderson, Jacob Woodhouse and Maile Latekefu made up the numbers against the potential Test line-up after the Waratahs received a request for personnel from the All Blacks, according to the allblacks.com website.
"They sent through an invitation for four young blokes to help out and have a run," said McCaffrey, who revelled in the "special experience".
"It was fantastic. I thought we were only going to hold pads for 90 minutes but they let us join in all the drills, in the contact and the scrummaging," McCaffrey said.
He said Henry told them: "Don't sit back and watch, join in. Do as much as you want. Don't be a spectator."
There was no suggestion the quartet, who were also at training on Tuesday, should not take notes and perhaps pass on information to the newly arrived Wallabies.
Although if they did, it hardly seemed there was anything the Australians were already unaware of having already been beaten this year in Melbourne and Christchurch.
"The training focus for the whole 90 minutes was perfect," McCaffrey said.
"From the props to fullback, everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing.
"The knowledge was probably the best I have ever seen and it looks like a really good team environment."