NRL great Johnathan Thurston has opened up on the Canterbury Bulldogs "rape scandal" which saw his young rugby league career briefly descend into chaos.

The former Australian and Queensland representative delved into the harrowing fiasco in his new book, Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography.

The scandal saw Bulldogs players accused of sexual assault after a night out in Coffs Harbour in 2004. Thurston, who was not involved with the accuser, shed light on the situation which "threatened to end my career before it even got started".

An unnamed 20-year-old "slept with six of them" back at the team's hotel before being spotted by Bulldogs the following night at the Plantation Hotel.


"I wish I could tell you that I was shocked by the group sex — but I wasn't," Thurston wrote.

"Consensual group sex, a girl sleeping with more than one NRL player at the same time, was not unusual."

The woman allegedly wanted to meet up with some of the Bulldogs players again.

Thurston said he jumped in a taxi back to the hotel at 5am with a couple of teammates. The young woman was trying to enter the car as well.

"One of the boys pushed her out and gave her a gob-full. She wasn't impressed," he said.

Thurston revealed the woman followed them back to the hotel and began screaming and knocking on the room adjacent where some of his teammates were staying.

She was spotted sitting outside the hotel crying at 6.45am when the Bulldogs got up for a pool recovery session.

By midday news had broken of the accusation made against "between three and six players" in the early hours of the morning.

"I was stunned," Thurston wrote.

"I was not involved in any capacity with the woman who made the accusations.

"I was not involved with her on the Wednesday night and I did not see what happened in the pool area on the Sunday morning.

"However, I was shocked and scared to be interviewed by police for the second time in a year. The press absolutely hammered us and it felt like the public thought we were all guilty even though a charge had not been laid."

The Director of Public Prosecutions ruled there was insufficient evidence to launch a prosecution. No charges were ever laid and all players cleared of any wrongdoing.