The Sydney Convicts gay rugby union club will don gladiatorial robes — then remove them — for the next instalment of Rugger Bugger, to be held at the Midnight Shift on Saturday, November 12.

Rugger Bugger: Gladiator is the club’s first fundraiser for the trip to the 2012 Manchester Bingham Cup.

“The Convicts are determined to win the Bingham Cup in Manchester next year, but we really need the community’s support to help get us there. This is a crucial fundraiser,” Convicts president David Whittaker said.

“This season we have a bunch of sexy new players who can’t wait to get their gear off for a good cause. The theme is ‘gladiator’ and our guys will be literally battling it out to the death, in and out of loincloths.”

Hosted by Maxi Shield and supported by ACON’s Drama Downunder campaign, doors will open at 8pm with the main show starting at 11pm sharp. Tickets are $25 pre-sale or $30 on the door.

“Think Gladiator, think Mad Max, think Ben-Hur, think sweaty naked rugby players,” Whittaker teased.

The social fundraiser caps off another successful year for the Convicts, and a season in which they narrowly lost out to Manchester in the bid to host next year’s Bingham Cup.

“Rugby season 2011 was a great success and we narrowly missed out on winning our comp, in a new and more challenging division, but we blooded some exciting new young players and are prepared for our Bingham Cup assault in 2012,” Whittaker said.

“We are recruiting players for the Manchester trip now and all through the summer off-season. The Convicts will start training early in the new year.

“The Rugby World Cup was very inspiring for our Bingham Cup campaign — we need to show that Australian gay rugby is the best in the world.”

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