Coach: Rugby Team Put Looks Above Talent

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com October 28 2009 8:05 AM ET

Ewen McKenzie, a former coach for Stade Francais, accused the popular French rugby team of focusing on acquiring good-looking players for its annual calendar at the expense of athletic talent.

McKenzie, who was let go from his job last month, leveled the charges in a recent interview with the sports daily L'Equipe, according to Agence France-Presse. He accused club president Max Guazzini of "only seeing two things — his calendar and the [team's home ground] Stade de France,” according to AFP.

"He has a marketing outlook which is not always in the best interests of sport," McKenzie said. "For example, Max could recruit one player over another just because he has a better look for the calendar.”

The annual Stade Francais calendar, Dieux du Stade (Gods of the Stadium), features nude and seminude photographs of team members.

Guazzini denied McKenzie's allegations and suggested the coach wanted to save face after being fired.

Click through to the following pages for a look back at the Dieux du Stade calendars, 2005 - 2010.

 DIEUX DU STADE 2005 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 DIEUX DU STADE 2006 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 DIEUX DU STADE 2007 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 DIEUX DU STADE 2008 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 DIEUX DU STADE 2009 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 DIEUX DU STADE 2010 CALENDAR x560 (cover full) | advocate.com