By Rebecca Drew
A GROUP of hunky rugby players from across the UK have ditched their kits and are baring their balls to raise awareness for testicular cancer in a new charity calendar that is set to get pulses racing this new year.
Incredible pictures show The Naked Rugby Players being snapped in the nude whilst at a bar, in the club house, on the pitch and in the changing rooms. Other images show a team of burly blokes preparing for a line out and engaging in a maul.
The men, who all play for six inclusive LGBTQ rugby clubs from up and down the country have posed starkers for their 2019 calendar to raise awareness for inclusive rugby, regardless of sexuality and to shine a light on the importance of men checking their tackle for lumps and bumps. The calendar is in partnership with the Balls to Cancer charity and even features a monthly reminder for men to check themselves out.
A total of 71 cisgender and transgender men took part in the project and the six teams who stepped up to the plate and braved all weathers earlier this year were; Glasgow Alphas, Northampton Outlaws, Sheffield Vulcans, Liverpool Tritons, Bristol Bisons and Brighton and Hove Sea Serpents.
This is the second calendar with a proportion of the sales going towards the rugby clubs involved and Balls to Cancer.
The pictures from the Renaissance-themed calendar were shot by photographer, Monty McKinnen and is published by Diverse Retailing Ltd.
“If there is a connection between art and rugby then we were determined to drag it to the fore, kicking and screaming, if necessary,” said Monty.
“With a few cleverly angled soft lights, hard shadows and some furlong and battle-weary figures strewn about the place, maybe, just maybe, we thought we could pull off a bit of the Renaissance with this calendar in the few hours we had with each club.
“As with the first calendar our brief has always been the same, take the individuals as we find them.
“We didn’t want models, we wanted characters and, showing these characters in this artistic light, shows the beauty in us all. That which is in the eye of the beholder, sounds corny yes, but it’s a fact!”
One in two men in the UK will suffer cancer at some point in their lifetime with 200,000 men diagnosed with the disease each year, 80,000 of which will die from their cancer.
The Naked Rugby Players 2019 calendar was in the top five charity calendars in the finals of The National Calendar Awards.
Published by, Diverse Retailing Ltd, The Naked Rugby Players Calendar 2019 is now available to buy for RRP £13.99 from Amazon, thenakedrugbyplayers.com and thegayshop.co.uk.