The image taken of All Blacks secondrower, Brad Thorn offering his hand to Pumas flyhalf Santiago Fernández at the end of the World Cup Quarter Final at Eden Park was awarded photo of the year as reported by the IRB. The photo was called 'Helping Hand' and was taken by Andrew Cornaga from the Photosport agency. More than three hundred photos were considered for the prize. Evaluation procedures included a need to send a message of the values of rugby.
The recently reappointed IRB chairman, Bernard Lpasset commented that "The inherent camaraderie and respect in Rugby is often highlighted but rarely does an image capture those unique qualities, particularly on the world’s greatest Rugby stage.” “Brad Thorn’s extended hand to Santiago Fernández encapsulates the true Spirit of Rugby.”
Chaired by Paul Morgan (Editor, Rugby World), the judging panel included world-renowned photographer Dave Rogers (Getty Images), Samantha Dunn (Sponsorship Controller, Emirates Airline) and Dominic Rumbles (IRB Head of Communications). The judges selected a shortlist of six images before finally confirming Cornaga’s picture as the winner.
Winning photographer Cornaga said: “Argentina had taken New Zealand on in the forwards and scored the first try of the match. At the end, though, it was the All Blacks who finished strongly securing their semi final place. There were several frames of Brad helping Santiago up off the turf, I guess this shot of Brad’s hand being offered is the one that stood out. Thorn has always been such a gladiator and a great sportsman.”
With Thanks: www.irb.com