When guys ask me what sport I am into, I tell them Rugby. I mean watching, of course. I don’t actually play much sport other than the occasional kick-about in the summer if a ball happens to come my way. But when it comes to watching there’s isn’t much I do watch, other than Rugby. But only if the French are playing.
Can you imagine why that would be? Look at some of the major Rugby teams out there and you have some incredibly well built and masculine men with bulging muscles and… cauliflower ears.
But look at the French Rugby team and you really have something altogether different. These guys could be male models. Most of them could be anyway. They’re lithe, lean, fast, handsome, muscular… They’re perfect.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed of course, and they’ve actually pushed the envelope by appearing in a nude calendar called Dieux du Stade (Gods of the Stadium). But not only have they created a calendar every year since 2001, they’ve also release several photography books and DVD’s of the shoots also.
I’ll do a feature on that later, but for now, meet the young French Rugby player Frederic Michalak. This handsome young man has found a great fan base around the world as a gay pin-up since his appearance in the calendars and associated merchandise, bringing Rugby to a whole new audience of gay men and straight women who spend the majority of their time drooling over the players rather than following the game.
It’s also led to the young man lending his looks to the modeling world for names such as Nike and Levis.
Perhaps unexpectedly, it is also believed that the creation of some of the more homo-erotic imagery in the calendars and connected media has helped to overcome sexual stereotypes and homophobia in sport, at least in France. And long may their work continue!