All Black captain strips off in Queenstown

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A provocative semi-nude painting of All Black captain Richie McCaw is hanging at Queenstown’s Bonz galley.

The painting is one of “heaps” of rugby-themed oils on canvas by well-known Queenstown artist Thomas Brown.

McCaw – who’s wearing only a strategically-placed All Black jersey – earns his 100th Test cap against France in Auckland tomorrow (Saturday) night.

The paintings – hanging at Bonz and at Wilkinsons Pharmacy, nearby, and at Brown’s Speargrass Flat gallery – are based on the theme, ‘A Game Played in Heaven’.

All Back star Dan Carter, former ABs’ mega-star Jonah Lomu and current coach Graham Henry are depicted in other quirky pieces.

“I’m delighted to share my passion of the game with visiting rugby fans in the heart of Queenstown,” Brown says.

Brown, who’s originally from Montana, USA, has lived here since 1982 and in 1992 converted a 1912 cheese factory at Speargrass Flat into a studio/gallery.

Brown says he’s spent more than a year on his series, “but the problem is that till a few weeks ago I didn’t know the exact colours players would be wearing”.

Not that that was a problem for his depiction of the All Blacks skipper.