New Zealand Rugby instructs independent lawyer to investigate the Aaron Smith incident further
New Zealand Rugby has instructed an independent lawyer to re-open the investigation into the Aaron Smith toilet tryst.
While the All Blacks today said they believe they dealt with the incident last year and it was essentially business as usual for them and Smith, NZR feels they need to investigate the matter further.
In a statement to Stuff, NZR said: "Based on information published today 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."
* Bledisloe test - full coverage
* Woman in Smith scandal comes forward
* Smith leaves All Blacks tour in disgrace after airport toilet tryst
* Smith speaks for first time after toilet scandal
Earlier, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen fronted media in Sydney and essentially said it was business as usual for the star halfback ahead of Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Sydney.
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.
The woman reportedly said her lawyers sent a letter to NZR boss Steve Tew, Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark and Smith's agent Warren Alcock last week asking for Smith to make a public statement about what actually happened, but had yet to receive a reply, according to The Daily Mail.
In an interview with Seven Sharp on Thursday, the woman at the centre of the incident said she was taking legal action for breach of privacy and defamation.
"From my point of view, I see they are almost implying what happened between me and Aaron was non-consensual," she told the show.
Hansen started his press conference in Sydney by addressing "the elephant in the room".
"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."
Hansen said there was no question mark over Smith starting the test on Saturday.
"He is in a great headspace in that he knows he has dealt with that issue. And done the things he needs to do around it. He is excited about wanting to play."
Smith, who was sent home from South Africa over the incident, said it was a one-off, but the woman told The Daily Mail they had been in a relationship for two years.
Smith was seen entering a disabled toilet with the woman after the test against the Springboks in Christchurch in September.
He was travelling with the team at the time and wearing All Blacks gear.
A husband and wife who were at Christchurch Airport and saw Smith and the woman enter the bathroom approached Stuff the week following the incident.
The woman said she wanted to speak out because she believed it was inappropriate behaviour for anyone in a public space, especially an All Black.