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Haden's future as RWC ambassador hanging by a thread

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Andy Haden
Andy Haden

Wellington, July 9 NZPA - Former All Black Andy Haden's future as a Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 ambassador is in serious doubt after he made inappropriate comments about rape.

Prime Minister John Key intends to talk to Murray McCully, the Minister responsible for the Rugby World Cup, later today as Labour calls for Haden to be sacked.

Haden previously survived a sacking when he apologised for causing offence with his claim on Sky TV's Deaker on Sport programme that the Crusaders rugby franchise had race-based selection policies, which restricted recruiting to only three "darkies".

Now, on the same programme, he has this week commented on historic sex allegations against former All Black Robin Brooke, made by two unnamed women, one of whom subsequently laid a complaint with police.

"There's a bloke called Hugh Grant. He got into a bit of trouble like this and I think if the cheque bounces sometimes, they only realise that they've been raped, you know, sometimes," he said.

Haden said there were two sides to every story.

"It's an equal society now, some of these girls are targeting rugby players and targeting sportsmen and they do so at their peril today, I think."

Rape support groups have hit out at the remarks.

Mr McCully said he was only made aware about the comments last night and was now considering the issue. He would comment later today. Prime Minister John Key told media with him in China that he intended to talk to Mr McCully about the comments.

Labour Party RWC spokesman Trevor Mallard said Haden should be removed immediately.

"He has already upset many people with his recent comments about darkies and racial quotas in rugby and he should have gone then."

Mr Mallard told NZPA he'd known Haden for a long-time and considered him a friend.

"He's a bit like me, he's not diplomatic and he says what he thinks and sometimes, when you are representing New Zealand as an ambassador, you just can't do that you've got to bite your tongue."

Even more so when your views were not mainstream, Mr Mallard said.

"I understand how he wants to support his mates, his team-mates his former team-mates, it's a generational thing...I know how he gets there but he's wrong, just like he was wrong about the comment about Canterbury darkies."

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