Cape Town - New Zealand Rugby has instructed an independent lawyer to re-open the investigation into the Aaron Smith toilet tryst, the Stuff.co.nz website reports.
In a statement released to the New Zealand website, the NZR said: "Based on information published, New Zealand Rugby believes that it needs to investigate the Aaron Smith matter further and has instructed an independent lawyer to do so.”
"Until those enquiries are complete we will not be making any further statements to the media. It is effectively an employment issue that requires investigation."
The incident had been thrust back into the public domain with the woman involved telling media she would be taking legal action in an attempt to protect her reputation.
On Wednesday, the lady in question released a series of texts and Facebook messages that appear to show Smith lied and withheld information to cover-up the full extent of their relationship, which appears to have started years ago.
If authentic, the messages show that the All Black scrumhalf was involved in convincing the woman to lie in a legal document, while he also misled All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
The woman said her portrayal by Smith and the All Blacks management led her to release the messages.
“When we got caught he lied about what had happened and asked me to stick to the story he had told his new girlfriend and coach, which essentially put the blame on me,” the woman told the Daily Mail.
“I was definitely the scapegoat so that he could get out of it, he threw me under the bus to try and save his own career.”
In October last year, Smith issued a tearful apology after being sent home from their South African tour after “breaching team standards regarding behaviour” after he was seen walking into a disabled toilet cubicle with a “female friend” at Christchurch Airport the day after the All Blacks had beaten the Boks 41-13 in September 2016.
Meanwhile, Smith will start at scrumhalf for the All Blacks in Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Sydney and their coach Steve Hansen stressed that they had already dealt with the incident.
"Obviously the incident happened last year. We dealt with and we felt dealt with it decisively. There is nothing more I can add to that - if there is it any more that needs to be spoken about... it will come from the NZ Rugby themselves - Steve Tew."
15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Tevita Kuridrani
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown