Although Devine arrived in London with the rest of the All Blacks touring party on Saturday, his ability to play in the opening game against England at the weekend is hanging in the balance.
The 25-year Devine turned out for the Australian sevens team in 1998. Shortly after that he switched to Auckland.
The IRB regulations state that as from January 2000 a player selected for a national sevens side cannot go on to represent another country. The law is retrospective, but the NZRFU is arguing Devine should be cleared as the law came in after he appeared for Australia.
Acting chief executive Steve Tew admitted that officials may have erred when checking Devine's eligibility background last year.
'Perhaps we should have dug deeper,' Tew said. 'It would seem Steve is ineligible and we are seeking approval for him to play. We want to try and solve this problem rather than try and blame anyone for it at this stage.
'Steve will be a bit anxious but I hope the rest of the team can get on with their job because it is not their fault.'
All Blacks coach John Mitchell was banking on Devine filling the No 9 jersey while Juastin Marshall and Byron Kelleher rested back home. Now either Marshall or Wellington's Jason Spice could face a long trip to replace Devine in the tour party.
Wales face New Zealand in their third tour game at the Millennium Stadium on 23 November.
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