Waterston facing fine
October 22, 2003

Namibia coach Dave Waterston is facing a fine from World Cup officials for declaring that he thinks the minor nations get the rough end of the stick.

The IRB issued Waterston with a notice yesterday declaring he would be investigated for his post-match comments on Sunday but Waterston is unrepentant.

"If you are a ref and you want the big appointments, you have to lick the backside of some of the top nations," Waterson told the Daily Telegraph. "At the end of the day somebody has to speak out. I stand by what I said. I'm not going to say something and then say I was misquoted," he said.

As for Queensland referee Andrew Cole - in charge of Namibia's match against Ireland last Sunday night - he said: "I am certainly not going to go to him as a dentist if he gives an exhibition like that as a referee."

Waterston faces a possible fine for the comments but indicated yesterday he could ignore any sanction.

"I haven't been paid for two years since coaching this side and I'm retiring from rugby on October 31 and getting married on November 14," he said.

He also launched further criticism of cup officials for their failure to cite Irish forward Paul O'Connell for allegedly stamping on Namibian lock Archie Graham.

Tournament organiser Fraser Neill has sent the Namibians a letter stating Rugby World Cup officials intend holding an inquiry into Waterston's remarks after his team's 64-7 loss to Ireland.

It gives the Namibians until this morning to respond before RWC considers what action to take.

The newspaper claims to have seen a copy of the letter sent by Waterston to officials which states, "Generally the minnows in the tournament are not dealt with on a parity regarding 50-50 decisions. The whole incident of Ireland's No. 5 stamping was particularly poorly handled. If we were given a yellow card for our lock then this incident warranted a red card. I would welcome the opportunity to go through the tape with Mr Cole and point out areas where I believe he erred."

Waterston, who has been coaching at the top level since 1992, was a member of the South African management team when the Springboks won the 1995 World Cup.

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