For a second year in a row, the All Blacks have lost their only Dunedin rugby test of the year, going down 27-20 to their World Cup nemesis France. (The All Blacks were beaten 30-28 by the Springboks in a crucial tri-nations rugby clash at Carisbrook in 2008).
But the Bottom Bus Nude Blacks managed to retain some pride for New Zealand earlier in the day, beating newcomers Le Coqs 15-5 in the 2009 Nude Rugby International.
The result continues the winning streak for the Nude Blacks, who now claim all 6 naked rugby test victories (5 on sand, 1 on grass).
The Nude Blacks team stretching before the big game
The event is organised by local touring company Bottom Bus and Headfirst Travel, and has become a popular curtain-raiser to rugby test match games in Dunedin. Veteran Nude Blacks captain Dave Bourke returned for his sixth game, along with a few other players from last year's beach match.
The 6th Annual Bottom Bus Nude Rugby International moved away from its traditional location at St Kilda beach, to a ground at Logan Park opposite the new multi-purpose roofed stadium site, which is being built beside Dunedin's waterfront.
Pre-match warmups at Logan Park ground
Originally started as a game between local rugby buffs and naked backpackers, the event has had to rely on willing students in recent years, with international backpackers proving wary stripping off in the sometimes chilly south.
The naked players take on the names and positions of team members in the All Blacks and French rugby teams (leading some overseas media to report last year that the actual All Blacks team had stripped off for the beach rugby game before the Springboks test).
The French Le Coqs team being interviewed by a Sky TV crew
Last year's game managed to attract one American female player, but this weekend's game was a decidedly blokey and Dunedin affair.
A few female backpackers did help assist the french bread-waving Le Coqs with their body painting (and French moustaches), and while a few gals were keen before the game to come on as late replacements, the large crowd of spectators at the Logan Park rugby ground seemed to scare them off.
The Nude Blacks face off against Le Coqs in the naked haka
Ball placement is all-important in a naked lineout ;-)
The French challengers encountered more resistance than
their national rivals did against the All Blacks on Saturday night
(More info and photos here: 6th Annual Nude Rugby International (Part 2))
Posted at 3:51 pm