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Stuart to know his fate next week

By Jim Morton 05/12/2008 03:00:57 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Ricky Stuart will discover the consequences of his "offensive" World Cup actions early next week.

The Rugby League International Federation has been handed the findings of an investigation into Stuart's behaviour following the Kangaroos' upset final loss to New Zealand last month.

The Test coach has offered an apology for his inappropriate conduct after he abused English referee Ashley Klein the morning after the 34-20 defeat at Suncorp Stadium.

Stuart allegedly used a string of expletives in calling Klein a "cheat" who "cost us the World Cup" when he saw the whistle-blower in their Brisbane hotel foyer.

Barrister Robert Weber, SC, interviewed Stuart, Klein and other witnesses in compiling the independent report presented to the RLIF on Friday morning.

Federation chairman and tournament director Colin Love said the report's finding would be distributed to his colleagues on the RLIF executive for discussion over the weekend.

"We'll be talking so nothing will be happening before Monday," Love said.

Stuart is reportedly expected to be fined by the RLIF but is also in danger of losing his job with the report also to be discussed at the Australian Rugby League board meeting on Tuesday night.

His contract expired at the end of this season and the ARL could opt to end his Test coaching tenure.

In apologising in a statement released through his manager John Fordham last week, Stuart described his post-match conduct as "inappropriate and offensive".

He regretted losing control but said the emotion of the upset in the final, which included three Kiwi tries he took issue with, had not subsided by the next morning.

"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. "But that's not an excuse for my behaviour".

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