Stuart's Kangaroos were the red-hot favourites to win the World Cup
Australia coach Ricky Stuart has said sorry to English referee Ashley Klein for verbally abusing him following the World Cup final defeat to New Zealand.
Stuart has also apologised to match officials executive Stuart Cummings in the wake of the incident at a Brisbane hotel the morning after the final.
In a statement, Stuart said his actions were "inappropriate and offensive".
The former Sydney Roosters coach still remains the subject of a Rugby League International Federation investigation.
"Still on my mind were the disappointed faces of my players who had worked so hard during the tournament," said Stuart in the statement.
Australia were hot favourites ahead of the final after scoring 180 points and conceded only 16 in the four matches leading up to the final, including a 30-6 win over New Zealand.
But the Kangaroos, who had won the previous six World Cups, were surprisingly beaten 34-20.
Stuart is said to have been angry over video referee Steve Ganson's decision to award New Zealand a penalty try and also a score for Jerome Ropati after an apparent "ball-stripping" incident.
He added that losing control in the manner he did was "something for which I now
"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".
Stuart will return to Sydney from a holiday on the Gold Coast early next week to respond to alleged breaches of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup's code of conduct.