They have imitated the success of their male counterparts on the field.
And now Oxford University women’s rugby team are copying the boys by posing for their own naked calendar.
With only strategically positioned hands to maintain their modesty the players leave little to the imagination.
The female team stripped down to just their rugby boots and socks for the black and white photographs taken around the city.
Tatiana Cutts, 25, who tackles teammate Danielle Yardy, 23, by the river in the September photograph, said it was ‘mostly hilarious, really very cold, and absolutely worth it for such a good cause’.
The law PhD student at Keble College, who lectures undergraduates part time and is the club captain, said: ‘It was a bit nerve-racking at first but after a minute it was good fun and great for team bonding.
‘We were lucky it was a sunny day, but I was still absolutely freezing in the picture. We ended up in the river twice, it was utterly miserable.’
Miss Cutts, who is from Tavistock, Devon, and went to Devonport High School for Girls, dismissed the idea that the calendar is distasteful. ‘What we’re doing is celebrating strong women,’ she said. ‘These girls are athletics, these are their body shapes, and they should be celebrated.’
The women’s rugby team, who have the motto ‘Back Yourself’, decided to pose for their own calendar after previously helping to sell the men’s calendar.
Club president Elizabeth Dubois, from Dartmouth, Canada, who is studying for a PhD in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences at Balliol, said: ‘We saw the success of the men’s calendar last year and while were helping to sell them at matches people said “if it was your team in the pictures, we would buy one”.
‘Playing rugby is certainly an opportunity to build skill and physical strength, but it is also a chance to release stress, form a social support structure, and feel welcomed.
‘With this calendar the club hopes to highlight the inclusiveness of women’s rugby.
‘When you play women’s rugby people have a stereotypical image of you and we wanted to confront that. We have girls of all shapes and sizes, and studying all types of academic subject.’
The calendar features current members of Oxford University Women’s Rugby Football Club on the pitch, in the gym, in the library, and around Oxford.
It is being sold for £10 to raise money for Mind Your Head, Oxford’s mental health awareness campaign.
To visit the calendar website click here.