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71 rugby players strip naked to promote awareness of cancer

71 rugby players strip naked to promote awareness of cancer

Members of the Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents rugby club

Following its inaugural publication last year, the Naked Rugby Players calendar is back.

The idea is simple: A bunch of guys from LGBTI-inclusive rugby clubs in the UK strip naked for a calendar. A portion of the proceeds go to Balls To Cancer, a charity raising awareness around cancer – including testicular cancer. The calendar even has reminders each month for men to check their balls for any unusual lumps.

Team members of the Bristol Bisons rugby club
Team members of the Bristol Bisons (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

Last year’s calendar featured 52 players. The 2019 calendar features 71 – gay, bisexual, trans men and allies – from six different amateur clubs.

Some of the images included in the Renaissance art-inspired calendar appear here.

Glasgow Alphas pose for the camera
Glasgow Alphas pose for the camera (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

In a statement, photographer Monty McKinnen said, ‘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!’

Members of the Sheffield Vulcans rugby club
Members of the Sheffield Vulcans rugby club (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

The clubs taking part are: Glasgow Alphas; Northampton Outlaws; Sheffield Vulcans; Liverpool Tritons; Bristol Bisons; and Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents.

‘The day itself began with us all being a bit apprehensive’

A spokesperson for the Liverpool Tritons told GSN that the team were, ‘thrilled at the chance of the opportunity to support a great charity, but also promote the club and inclusive rugby.

Members of the Liverpool Tritons LGBTI-inclusive rugby club
Members of the Liverpool Tritons LGBTI-inclusive rugby club (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

‘At our club we like to encourage people to try something new and this seemed like a good fit whilst pushing our boundaries.

‘The day itself began with us all being a bit apprehensive, wearing our socks and boots and the protection of our dressing gowns.

Members of the Northampton Outlaws
Members of the Northampton Outlaws (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

‘It wasn’t long before the photoshoot was in full swing and our nerves cleared, instead replaced with laughter and support.

‘It was a great experience for us and we’re glad that we took the opportunity to be involved.

‘Playing rugby has boosted the confidence of many of our players and making the calendar was a fun way of raising money for a great cause.’

The calendar is available from Amazon, TheNakedRugbyPlayers.com and TheGayShop.co.uk

All images are ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography

Members of the Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents rugby club
Members of the Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents rugby club (Photo ©2018 Diverse Retailing Ltd and Monty McKinnen Photography)

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