Under fire Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart has called his own comments “offensive” and issued a complete apology to the World Cup officials he attacked verbally after Australia were beaten in the RLWC final.
Issuing a statement through agent John Fordham, Stuart is reported to have sent inidivudal apologies on Thursday to World Cup final referee Ashley Klein and British referees official Stuart Cummings after Stuarts emotional outburst in a Brisbane hotel on Sunday.
Calling his manner “inappropriate and offensive”, Stuart said emotion totally got the better of him after the upset loss to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday night.
“Still on my mind were the disappointed faces of my players who had worked so hard during the tournament,” said Stuart in the statement.
Regardless of these latest developments, Ricky Stuart remains under investigation by the Rugby League International Federation investigation for the allegations that he called Klein a “f…ing cheat” and “the c… who cost us the World Cup” when he crossed pathes with the referee the following morning.
Stuart said through Fordham “it’s something for which I now deeply regret”.
“It’s a hard thing for me to admit, but I was certainly not in control of my emotions at the time and acted irresponsibly and irrationally,” wrote Stuart in his apology, adding “but that’s not an excuse for my behaviour”.
The statement said Stuart was trying to contact Klein and Cummings to personally convey his apology.
Stuart will return to Sydney from leave early next week to respond to alleged breaches of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup’s Code of Conduct.
The matter is being independently investigated for the RLIF by Robert Weber SC.