Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa to feature in ESPN magazine's Body Issue

Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa will trade his blue jersey for his birthday suit in this year's edition of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue.

The yearly publication, which began in 2009, features athletes from across the globe stripped down in an exploration of the athletic body in photographs, with only props from the athlete's sport to cover up. 

Fekitoa will be the first New Zealand athlete to be featured in the magazine, and just the second rugby player in over 200 athletes to take part in the issue since 2009.

United States rugby stalwart Todd Clever, who is the most capped American rugby player in their history, was in the 2015 edition. 

"I worked really hard with my body to get it right," Fekitoa told ESPN.

"I want to show others that you can achieve anything in what you do if you put your mind to it and your body."

Fekitoa, 25, will feature alongside two-times NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, former women's tennis No.1 Caroline Wozniaki, 2016 NFL rookie of the year Ezekiel Elliott and more.

The ninth annual edition of the Body Issue is out on July 8.


Photo: getty Images (Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders will feature in ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue).