Andy Haden's role as Rugby World Cup Ambassador is over after he made comments suggesting women who target sport stars and end up being raped are partly to blame.

It is the second time Haden's comments have ignited controversy.

In May, he accused the Canterbury Crusaders of following racist policies with a quota for "darkies".

Haden later apologised, and Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully allowed him to keep his ambassador role.

But comments Haden made on Sky TV's Deaker on Sport programme on Wednesday are understood to have pushed Mr McCully over the edge.

Haden, when asked about former All Black Robin Brooke allegedly having sex with a near-comatose teenager and then paying her to keep quiet, said these kinds of stories had "two sides to them".

"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.

"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."

It is understood Mr McCully will axe Haden after a courtesy call, either last night or today.

The minister declined interviews yesterday but issued a strongly worded statement saying he had not seen Haden's comments in full, but they were an unwanted distraction.

"Naturally I am disappointed to again be in a situation where Mr Haden's comments have provoked public controversy. It is the role of 2011 ambassadors to promote the outstanding programme of activities planned for next year, not to provide a major distraction from them.

"It is not possible to combine the roles of television rugby shock-jock and 2011 ambassador. This is something I will discuss with Mr Haden quite soon."

Labour's Rugby World Cup spokesman, Trevor Mallard, who is a friend of Haden, called for him to be dumped.

"Andy is deliberately provocative, he likes winding people up, and he's also immensely loyal to his old friends and teammates, and that has led him to say something that is just not acceptable.

"It is just really embarrassing for everyone. If people like Andy can't change his attitudes, he needs to bite his tongue."

Haden later defended his comments, saying he was just warning women who go out to bed men, not just sportspeople, that they put themselves at risk.

Mr Mallard said Haden's comments were a belated effort at diplomacy.

"He might be slightly in recovery mode. The idea of Andy Haden being the general protector of young women who are going out with sportspeople is a bit far-fetched."

Rape victim advocate Louise Nicholas agreed, saying Haden needed "to come out of the 18th century".

"What saddens me is that the majority of women, including myself, absolutely love rugby and want to be a part of it," she said.

"And we want to go out and have a good time with the boys and enjoy the games, but not with the result of becoming a victim."

Instead of slamming rape crisis agencies, Haden needed to encourage rugby players to work with them, Ms Nicholas said.

"It's about educating and preventing anything further from happening, and that actually needs to come from the Rugby Union side."

Ms Nicholas said rugby players needed to be prepared for "groupies" and walk away from situations that could go awry.

"The best thing for these guys is to say 'no' and walk away."

But women should be allowed to enjoy sharing the limelight with the rugby stars, she said.

"I shook hands with Richie McCaw the other day and I went weak at the knees," Ms Nicholas said with a laugh. "I thought, 'My God, this is the famous All Black that everyone loves'."

As for Haden's comments regarding Brooke, he needed to "zip it".

"He doesn't know the full situation, just like the rest of New Zealand," she said. "Nobody knows except the complainant and Brooke."

Ms Nicholas said Brooke's alleged victim could contact her for support.

The woman has not yet laid a complaint with the police.