IRB blames TV for rushed presentation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

IRB blames TV for rushed presentation

By Glenn Cullen 25/11/2003 05:51:27 AM Comments (0)

A rugby boss blamed television scheduling for the rushed presentation of medals to the Wallabies and England after Saturday's dramatic Rugby World Cup final.

International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Syd Millar appeared to almost toss runners-up medals over the necks of the Wallabies after the game and shook hands with few, if any, of the Australian players.

Prime Minister John Howard's presentation of winners' medals to England was also swift, although he did shake hands with every squad member.

Talkback radio and letters pages later fielded complaints about what observers said was Mr Howard's surly and ungracious presentation of medals and the Webb Ellis Cup to the England team.

A spokesman for Howard denied the prime minister was ungracious, pointing out he had spent 15 minutes in the England dressing room, speaking to players, and had telephoned congratulations to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"While obviously deflated with the result he was gracious towards the English players," Howard's spokesman said.

Millar admitted the ceremony "wasn't right" but said the late finish of the match, which went into extra time, together with pressure from broadcasters, had made life difficult.

"As we were walking out they (the host broadcaster) certainly were wanting us to hurry up and get on with it and so on," Millar said.

"Yes, it's something we should have done better but that's something we'll address and do properly next time.

"I was just conscious of the fact that as we walked across the television (people) were saying to myself and John Howard - hurry up gentleman, keep going, keep going, keep going."

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