Rugby star Sacha Harding appears naked on the cover of UK glossy Gay Times' The Naked Issue to support Elton John's AIDS Foundation.

This year the annual issue, which features 54 naked men, has teamed up with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The 28-year-old Harding, who plays for the Bedford Blues, said he was honored to be included in the issue.

“AIDS is such a devastating disease for so many people around the world and I was honored to get this opportunity to try and do my part to help raise awareness of the disease and ultimately save lives,” Harding is quoted as saying in a Gay Times statement.

“I know I'm going to get some stick from the lads at Bedford but it's all good fun and the whole campaign has a very serious message which needs promoting,” he added.

Harding was last year voted Britain's “manliest man.”

“How could we not have Britain's manliest man on our cover?” Gay Times Editor Darren Scott rhetorically asked. “Our readers do like their men to be real men! It's an absolute joy to have a straight rugby player be so willing to take part in a shoot for Britain's longest-running gay magazine.”

(A video of Harding's W London hotel photo shoot is embedded in the right panel. Visit our video library for more videos.)