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The young player who made the "cuddle and cab" remark during an explosive television report into group sex has received counselling from his NRL club.

Simon Williams, a promising Under 20s centre with the Newcastle Knights, celebrated his 20th birthday on Wednesday with his mobile phone turned off to avoid the fallout from his comments on the ABC's Four Corners programme probing rugby league's culture of drinking and group sex.

Former Newcastle and Cronulla international and multi-media personality Matthew Johns, involved in a group sex incident in New Zealand in 2002, became the first casualty today, stood down indefinitely from his seven figure job with the Nine Network and his coaching role with Melbourne.

Williams has been shielded from the media since telling the programme much of the drama could be avoided if the female involved was properly thanked and "put in a cab".

A Newcastle spokesman confirmed to AAP that Williams, from Inverell in NSW, was receiving counselling.

Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen was critical of Newcastle for allowing such a young player to appear in front of the TV cameras.

"The kid talked about treating the lady nice after an action and then taking her to a car and used the words, 'that covers it up'," Cullen told AAP after the club's AGM on Wednesday.

"That's a shame. That club should never have allowed that kid to be interviewed because he's probably never been in front of a camera before.

"If he had his time over again, he's never going to use the word cover up - he's not covering up anything.

"But at his age he still doesn't get it and so he's got a mindset, or a culture if you like - 'me and a mate may be able to take a girl into a room, may be able to do something, and as long as we say thanks very much and it was really nice and we enjoyed it and take her out to a cab and pay for a cab fare home, that's all that needs to be done'.

"And that's all wrong."

Cullen didn't think Johns should be the face of rugby league.

"I don't think Matthew Johns should be the face of rugby league at the moment, that's just a very bad look and very bad taste," he said.

"I don't want him to be victimised or ostracised -- I don't want to cost him his job -- but from a rugby league perspective, and a result of the stories that have come out, Matthew Johns is the wrong person to be any sort of face of rugby league whether that be on the Footy Show, Channel Nine or the NRL, whoever."

Cullen's view that clubs no longer swept things under the carpet and that players were better educated and behaved was supported by Titans chief executive Michael Searle.

"Unfortunately these matters have come to light and I think David (Gallop) has dealt with it head on," said Searle, a former player.

"We can at least acknowledge that we are dealing with it.

"It's an ongoing challenge for all codes as it is for society."

- AAP