Northampton rugby club strip off for art-themed naked calendar

The Naked Rugby Players 2019 calender features players from Northampton Outlaws - who bravely stripped off to raise awareness of male forms of cancer.
The Naked Rugby Players 2019 calender features players from Northampton Outlaws - who bravely stripped off to raise awareness of male forms of cancer.

A Northampton rugby club joined forces with teams around the country to get starkers for a male cancer awareness charity.

Six inclusive rugby clubs around Britain stripped off earlier this year to help encourage men to check for lumps and bumps regularly, in partnership with the Balls To Cancer charity.

Six teams from around the country and 71 players took part in the photoshoots.

Six teams from around the country and 71 players took part in the photoshoots.

In total, 71 men, including transgender men, braved the snow and the driving rain to bare all on the pitch, in the locker rooms and in the showers for the Naked Rugby Players 2019 calender.

The first 2018 calendar raised thousands of pounds for the clubs involved and the charity partner, Balls To Cancer.

This year's effort features players from the Nene Valley Way-based Northampton Outlaws.

Speaking about the choice to choose the Renaissance period as the inspiration for the 2019 calendar, photographer Monty McKinnen said: “If there is a connection between art and rugby then we were determined to drag it to the fore, kicking and screaming, if necessary.

"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.”

Some 200,000 men are diagnosed with cancer every year and, tragically, 80,000 of those will die.

One in two men will suffer cancer in the UK during their lifetimes.

But cancers detected early, such as testicular cancer, are beatable and the calender aims to encourage regular checking by including a monthly reminder.

As with the first calendar a proportion of the money raised through the sales of the calendar goes to Balls To Charity and to the inclusive rugby clubs involved.