On a hot Wednesday afternoon Spy went behind the scenes of the 2019 Jockey campaign photo shoot with the All Blacks.
All Black regulars Damian McKenzie, 23, TJ Perenara, 26, centre Anton Lienert-Brown, 23, and All Black Sevens veteran Kurt Baker, 30, put their best feet forward in their briefs at the campaign shoot at Auckland Grammar’s gymnasium.
Jockey doesn’t do things by halves; it was a full-on production, with impressive sets and minders making sure the boys in black were comfortable throughout the long shoot. The vibe was laid-back and chilled so they could give the lenses their best blue steel.
The new range and campaign theme are the perfect fit for this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, which Spy will reveal before New Zealand Fashion Week in August.
And watching the boys pose for the cameras with various props from the gym, you would never know they were nervous.
By the time they were free to chat they were a lot more comfortable in their snazzy grey cotton Jockey robes.
McKenzie says it’s hard not to be nervous. The players’ comfort zone is on the footy field, not posing near-naked in front of bright lights and cameras.
But Lienert-Brown will look mighty fine should his shot with the dumbbells make the final cut.
Having a shoot immediately after the holiday break isn’t ideal, as the boys don’t go back to work ahead of the Super Rugby season until the end of the month. But there were no signs of Christmas or New Year over-indulgence. Perenara puts it best: “A healthy diet is my job, as is staying in peak physical shape throughout the year.”
None of them did extra work or fancy exercises before the shoot — they are already in top shape.
Perenara revealed that though he wore Jockeys during the week, on game day they were traded in for cycle shorts under his playing gear.
Baker said he was pleased to have had a couple of weeks of sun before the shoot, so he didn’t have to resort to fake tan and risk looking like an Oompa Loompa.
He insists he wears Jockeys behind his famous naked shots with the numerous cups and medals the All Blacks Sevens have won. But after close inspection of some of those photos, Spy wonders whether he is mistaken.
As for the funniest story that has ever happened on set, Baker had this to say: “They give us bread to put down our jocks (a common trick to create a smoother look in underwear modelling). Team mate and fellow Jockey model Scott Curry once ate the bread after the shoot.”