South East Wales

Nantyglo RFC's nude charity calendars delayed at border

When a south Wales valleys rugby team stripped off for a fundraising nude calendar, they barely realised their physiques would cause such a stir.

Nantyglo RFC were told that all 300 copies printed in Germany had been prevented from entering the UK because they were deemed too pornographic.

The calendars were eventually allowed in after a two-week hiatus.

The players had stripped off to raise funds for a former team-mate who was seriously injured in a match last year.

Club steward Sharon Smith, who came up with the idea for the calendar, had put hundreds of pounds of her own money into the fundraiser.

She said the calendar designers had been told by the German printers that the offending items had been opened in a random check and thought inappropriate "even though there were no dangly bits showing!"

"After a lot of pleading and tantrums we managed to get them released," she said.

She said the calendars were not over the top but tastefully used items such as Christmas baubles to spare the players' blushes.

The rugby team certainly saw the funny side of what happened but it took their steward a little longer to appreciate it.

"We had a bit of a fraught time," she said.

Image caption Baring all and bearing up: The players have seen the funny side of the unexpected delay

"I think it's quite funny myself now but the rugby boys thought it was hilarious. It was one of my hare-brained schemes and the boys went along with it."

Sales of the calendar have been going well since being allowed into the country, with around 180 already sold.

Proceeds will be given to a fund for former Nantyglo captain Steve Coles, who suffered a serious back injury while playing for Abergavenny.

A Border Force spokesperson said: "On the limited information provided and given the thousands of seizures we make at the border every year, we are unable to confirm whether our officers detained these calendars."

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