Russell Crowe's Rugby Team Cuts Cheerleaders

Russell Crowe says his rugby league club's cheerleading squad is being cut because skimpily clad cheerleaders detract from the game and make spectators uncomfortable.

The Oscar-winning actor, who is part-owner in the South Sydney Rabbitohs club, said the club had become concerned that the cheerleaders -- whose uniform includes fishnet stockings and tasseled miniskirts in the white, green and red team colors -- were inappropriate entertainment.

"It makes women uncomfortable and it makes blokes who take their son to the football also uncomfortable," Crowe was quoted as saying in News Ltd. newspapers Friday.

"We examined game day and wanted to contemporize and make the focus (on) football," he said.

A team of percussionists will replace the cheerleaders, the club announced this week. The club's Web site invited drummers to audition.

Crowe, a longtime Rabbitohs supporter, helped save the club from obscurity a few years ago before buying a major stake in 2006.

He won an Oscar in 2001 for "Gladiator." The 42-year-old actor has also received Oscar nominations for "The Insider" and "A Beautiful Mind."