Rugby League players from Australia and New Zealand appear in a nude calendar launched at Aussie Stadium in Sydney on September 27, with a proportion of the proceeds going to Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The calendar, shot by photographer Pedro Virgil, features Paul Whatuira (West Tigers), Brent Webb (Auckland Warriors), Johnathan Thurston (Nth Qld Cowboys), Justin Hodges (Brisbane Broncos), Ben Ross (Cronulla Sharks), Amos Roberts (Sydney Roosters), Ashley Harrison (Sydney Roosters), Riley Brown (Newcastle Knights), Nick Youngquest (Penrith Panthers), Stuart Webb (Sydney Roosters), Greg Bird (Cronulla Sharks), Michael Witt (Manly Sea Eagles), Liam Fulton (West Tigers).
The National Rugby League of Australia has distanced itself from the publication. In fact concern has been expressed about the appropriateness of the photography. Youngquest in particular has copped flak from his bosses for revealing too much in the June 2007 photograph.
The National Breast Cancer Association itself has pointed out that while they are recipients of funds from the calendar, they were not involved in the planning or publishing of the calendar.
The Naked Rugby League calendar is available for purchase in black in white or in colour from Australian newsagents as well as from the calendar website, www.nakedrugbyleague.com.au.