The International Rugby Board has revealed the six photographs shortlisted for the IRB/Emirates Airline Rugby Photograph of the Year 2010.
The shortlist depicts a range of Rugby scenes throughout the year, including two from Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 in England and a group of young girls in India enjoying the sport for the first time. All six images have the Spirit of Rugby at their core, depicting camaraderie, team work, fellowship, enjoyment and respect.
They were chosen from more than 350 entries submitted from 28 countries, with a record number featuring women and girls playing Rugby, including nearly 50 images from Women's Rugby World Cup 2010.
You can view the six images shortlisted for the IRB/Emirates Airline Rugby Photograph of the Year 2010 by clicking on the links below.
Image One – ‘Bengal Khuki’ by Richard Lane
Taken on 3 April, Bengal Khuki shows a group of girls playing Rugby at an orphanage outside Kolkata in India during a trip to coach rugby union to children organised by the England-based charity Rugby Uncle.
Image Two – ‘Desperate Stretch’ by Christiaan Kotze
Vaion Willis of the Blue Bulls tries to place the ball over the try line during a Vodacom Cup match between the Blue Bulls and Western Province at a drenched Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image Three – 'Semi's Delight' by Michael Paler
Lindsay Morgan and Danielle Meskell celebrate Australia reaching a first ever Women's Rugby World Cup semi final following an emphatic 62-0 victory over South Africa at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
Image Four – 'Snow Blizzard' by Paul Thomas
Taken at the Heineken Cup Pool Five match between Sale Sharks and Harlequins at Edgeley Park, Stockport, on December 20, 2009. Players from Sale Sharks and Harlequins continue to play on through blizzard snow conditions, while behind the scenes ground staff struggle to keep the pitch markings visible.
Image Five – 'England's Magnificent Flying Machine' by Lissy Tomlinson
Women's Rugby World Cup star England's Maggie Alphonsi - nicknamed 'Maggie the Machine' by pundits - brushes aside Ireland's Niamh Briggs in their opening fixture at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
Image Six – 'Burning Desire' by Lee Warren
Mpho Mbiyozo of South Africa at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens match between South Africa and Australia at Sevens Stadium, Dubai on December 5, 2009.
The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges which included Paul Morgan (Editor, Rugby World), renowned sports photographer Dave Rogers (Getty Images), Barry Newcombe (Sports Journalists’ Association) and Joelle Watkins (Corporate Communications Manager, Emirates Airline).
“The quality of the photographs this year was again exceptional and as always we enjoyed some lively discussion to reach our final six from the 350 plus entries we received,” said panel Chairman Paul Morgan.
“It was a fascinating and difficult process with the whole Rugby year laid before us including pictures from the Six Nations, Tri Nations, Women's Rugby World Cup, IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina, the IRB Sevens World Series and elite domestic competitions to photographs of local club teams or groups of friends and young children playing Rugby across the world.”
The winner will be announced in early November and the winning entry together with the five runners-up will be published in the IRB World Rugby Yearbook 2011, published by VSP. Advance orders of the Yearbook can be made via the Publishers’ website www.visionsp.co.uk, including a special early bird rate for media before November 3 by quoting ‘IRB’ as the promotion code at check out.
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