Coach fired over group-sex scandal

SYDNEY - Matthew Johns has lost his television commentator and assistant coaching jobs after the former Australian rugby league international admitted to being involved in a 2002 group-sex scandal.

SYDNEY - Matthew Johns has lost his television commentator and assistant coaching jobs after the former Australian rugby league international admitted to being involved in a 2002 group-sex scandal.

The Channel Nine television network announced that Johns had been indefinitely stood down from his role as a commentator after a meeting with chief executive David Gyngell yesterday.

"I have always had great regard for Matt, but he knows better than anyone that this incident has placed him in an untenable position. To his credit he has recognised that and acted upon it," Gyngell said in a statement.

Less than an hour later, National Rugby League (NRL) side Melbourne Storm released a separate statement confirming they were also severing ties with Johns, who is one of the sport's most recognisable figures.

Johns met with his television bosses after he publicly admitted his involvement in a group-sex session with a 19-year-old New Zealand woman while playing for the Cronulla Sharks in Christchurch in 2002.

The woman said the incident had ruined her life and left her feeling suicidal and depressed, adding that she wanted to shoot dead all the players involved.

She was interviewed as part of a television documentary, which aired in Australia on Monday, revealing a series of sordid incidents involving high-profile rugby league players that have rocked the sport.

NRL chief executive David Gallop issued a public apology for the behaviour of players, which he described as appalling and unacceptable. - Reuters

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