In terms of beards of world sport it ranks somewhere between a Noel 'Crusher' Cleal and a Hashim Amla but Cowboys prop James Tamou has reluctantly agreed to give up the growth in aid of the Leukaemia Foundation.
Along with fellow Cowboys teammates Rory Kostjasyn, Ashton Sims, Joel Riethmuller and Anthony Mitchell, Tamou will join more than 150,000 people who will get sponsored to shave or colour their hair to support Australians with blood cancer and fund research.
The five Cowboys join Titans prop Ryan James
as NRL stars prepared to put their immediately identifiable hair on the line in aid of cancer research.
Initially cultivated as a defence against the cold of a north England winter during the World Cup, Tamou's beard has survived a Townsville summer – and the protestations of his partner Brittney – but will be sacrificed as part of the World's Greatest Shave.
Although baby son Brooklyn will be sorry to see it go ("He tugs on it as hard as he can," says Tamou), the big prop is confident that a winning streak that encompasses a World Cup win and Auckland Nines trophy won't be impacted by less facial fluff.
"We were just discussing that on the Gold Coast in camp there, that if I was to get rid of it and we start losing I might have to regrow it," Tamou threatened.
"Hopefully that's not the case and we can get a few wins without the beard.
"I know a couple of close friends have [been affected by cancer] and David Furner, our assistant coach, his wife was affected by it. It's such a big thing for us as a team, we've all become so close-knit this year, almost like a family, and that's another reason for [shaving it off].
“I’ve loved having it, but it’s time for it to go.
“It’s a great idea that the boys have come up with and we’re challenging all of our members, supporters, footy fans and community members to be brave and shave like us or just simply get behind our $20,000 fundraising goal by making a donation to our World’s Greatest Shave team. “
Cowboys members and fans who attend the Round 1 clash with Canberra at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night will be able to find out more about the World’s Greatest Shave by visiting the Leukaemia Foundation stand at Community Corner, proudly presented by Steggles Charity Nest.
The free Community Corner space at North Queensland’s NRL home matches reflects the Cowboys’ and Steggles commitment to assist charitable organisations to build awareness and support from the local community.
Twelve charities are offered this opportunity throughout the 2014 season.
To donate to the Cowboys taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave click here