Punters scrum down to buy Uni rugby players’ calendar

The Oxford Times: The photograph for May The photograph for May

THE Oxford landmarks are familiar, but the naked rugby players are definitely not.

Commuters and tourists were surprised by the sight of the Oxford University rugby team stripping off their kit to pose for a charity calendar.

The players braved the cold in front of some of the city’s famous sights to raise money for Against Breast Cancer UK.

The Oxford Times:

  • June

And the calendar is proving so popular that the first print run of 100 copies sold out in less than two weeks. More are being printed.

Blues captain, John Carter, said: “In the end, it took the lads little encouragement to strip off for charity – we got some pretty odd looks from tourists, but that’s a small price to pay for helping a good cause.”

The photos were shot last month for the calendar, which costs £10 with £8 from each going to Against Breast Cancer UK.

The Radcliffe Camera and Bridge of Sighs were among 12 of the sites picked for the photos.

The Oxford Times:

  • Hooker Nick Gardner

Nick Gardner, 23, from Headington Hill, pictured in the calendar driving a tractor, is the hooker on the team.

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He said: “It was a bit of fun but quite strange.

“When we were doing my shot there were people training on the rugby pitches from other teams, so it was a case of quickly get your kit off and get it over with.

“It’s for such a good cause so it’s nice to be able to do.”

The first team players have already raised more than £800 from sales of the first print run.

Team coach Sean Morris, 24, from Iffley Road, also posed up for the photos.

The Oxford Times:

  • March

He said: “Rugby players we are used to showering together so it was about getting the job done and getting out of the cold.

“It was quite funny, particularly a shot where we are all cycling around the Radcliffe Camera because we had to wait for sunrise and by that point there were a few unsuspecting commuters who got a bit of a surprise.”

Ian Williams, 23, from Hurst Street, who is one of the team’s prop forwards, said: “The cycling photo was funny to shoot, and there were a few people taking their own photos. Seeing a rugby team naked pelting around the Radcliffe Camera was quite popular.”

Last year, the Blues raised more than £1,500 for Prostate Cancer UK with a calendar.

As reported in the Oxford Mail, this year the university’s women’s rugby team also peeled off to shoot their own calendar for Oxford mental health awareness campaign Mind Your Head.

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