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Australia Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart is to be formally investigated by Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) chairman Colin Love following an allegation that he abused a referee and an official. The inicident reportedly took place the morning after the World Cup final where hot favourites Australia suffered a shock 34-20 loss to the New Zealand Kiwis.
Stuart reportedly bumped into World Cup Final referee Ashley Klein and Rugby Football League (RFL) director of referees Stuart Cummings in the foyer of their Brisbane hotel. It is alleged that Stuart then launched into a verbal tirade at the two officials.
Its understood that Stuart was furious at a number of refereeing decisions during the final. In particular, a controversial penalty try awarded by video referee Steve Ganson.
Stuart is also reported to have clashed with Australian Rugby League (ARL) chief executive Geoff Carr on the field at full-time where Stuart made the extraordinary suggestion of a conspiracy theory with tournament organisers believing a shock winner was good for the World Cup.
Carr has downplayed Stuart's outburst as "emotional" following the World Cup loss.
"Ricky needed to blow off some steam." Carr told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Cummings claimed that he and Klein were verbally attacked by Stuart on Sunday morning. The match officials have since lodged a written complaint.
Love said the matter would be investigated and Stuart will be asked to explained his actions. It's understood it may take a number of weeks to complete the necessary formal process of the inquiry.