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Iconic Rugby Prints: Remember These Moments

Iconic Rugby Prints: Remember These Moments

It’s often said that a picture says a thousand words. In reality, this isn’t necessarily the case. There are some pictures that say far more than this.

You only need to look at some of the most iconic rugby prints and general sports posters on the market to understand the significance of sporting photography. Over the years and decades, professional photographers from all over the world have successfully captured and documented some of the most extraordinary moments in the history of professional sports. Some inspiring, some moving, all incredibly impressive to say the least.

Magic Moments

The key to successful sports photography lies in so much more than capturing dramatic shots of the action. It’s about not simply creating impressive imagery, but capturing a moment for what it was at the time. A picture should be able to convey the motion and intensity of whatever it was that was taking place at a single glance. This is what separates the world’s best sports photographers from those who simply capture impressive pictures.

To illustrate just how powerful sports photography can be, what follows is a brief rundown of some of the most iconic rugby prints in the history of the sport. Each of which captures the kind of moment we may never see again, though will live on in the hearts and minds of rugby fans for all eternity.

NZ Wales Standoff


This was perhaps the most memorable opening to an All Blacks game in the history of the team. While performing one of the most aggressive hakas anyone had ever seen, the Wales team stood completely infallible just metres away.  The tension and atmosphere before the game had even started was simply unbelievable.

Nelson Mandela Presents the World Cup Trophy


This incredible image became no less than a symbol of an entire nation’s future.  Kitted out in the full Springbok jersey and badge, Nelson Mandela presented the 1995 World Cup trophy to Francois Pienaar. One of the most iconic and important moments not only in the history of the sport, but also of South Africa.

The Ultimate Comeback


There may have never been more goosebumps-inducing Welsh victory than this. In 2010, Shane Williams managed to score an incredible last-minute belter to secure the most extraordinary comeback against Scotland. Despite having been trailing by 10 points with just 40 minutes to go, Wales nonetheless clinched the victory. The sheer emotion on Williams’ face after scoring says it all.

Scott Gibbs Grand Slam


Anyone with even the slightest interest in rugby will never forget the moment Scott Gibbs scored a try in the very last minute on the hallowed turf of Wembley in 1999, denying England a grand Slam everybody already assumed they’d clinched. To say the place erupted in spectacular fashion would definitely qualify as something of an understatement.

Mervyn Davies


This unforgettable image found its place into rugby history books for all the wrong reasons. Wales No 8 Mervyn Davies is carried of the Arms Park pitch on a stretcher after suffering a brain haemorrhage. His team was playing Pontypool at the time in the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup. Though disturbing and upsetting, the image nonetheless illustrates the importance of safeguarding the health and general welfare of all rugby players.

Wales Grand Slam Success


The Welsh national team received the hero’s reception they deserved by clinching the 2005 Grand Slam in from of a packed home crowd in Cardiff. The entire place erupted with the kind of pride and passion never before seen at the Millennium Stadium. A victory and a moment that will go down in history as one of the best.

Gareth Edwards Brawl


During a game between Cardiff and Aberavon in 1977, two legends of the turf came to blows in unfortunate yet spectacular fashion. Gareth Edwards and Morton Howells quarrelled over a clash and ultimately began slugging it out – this rare image having been snapped right in the midst of the melee.

Fake Blood Scandal


One of the biggest scandals to hit the world of professional rugby in some time, the Harlequins figured it was worth resorting to underhanded tactics to force a tactical substitution. Tom Williams is walked off the pitch with blood pouring from his mouth, horrifying the millions watching the action from all over the world. Incredibly, it was later determined that the blood was fake and Williams had in fact suffered no injury whatsoever.

Muddy Marvellous


A firm contender for the title of best muddy rugby picture of all time, this shot was taken on July 13, 1977 in Wellington, New Zealand, during a match between England and the NZ Juniors. Along with being entertaining to say the least, it also shows the kinds of conditions rugby players had to endure before turf technology took a step in the right direction.

More Mud


Another truly unforgettable moment, which captured the exhaustion of the Welsh team walking off a destroyed Arms Park pitch led by the legendary R. C. C. Thomas. A historic victory for Wales and another potent illustrator of just how challenging conditions could be back in the day.

Garin Jenkins Eye Gouge


Enough to make you wince, not to mention one of the most iconic shots of a professional player being treated a little too roughly. The Argentinian player – deliberately or otherwise – decided to shove his finger right into the eye socket of Garin Jenkins, which unsurprisingly resulted in one hell of a confrontation between the two teams.

Blood, Sweat and Tears


Last but not least, this shot was taken during a match between the Wasps and Bath in 2002, which wasn’t a particularly extraordinary game. Nevertheless, the photo beautifully captures the grit and pure aggression of a professional rugby scrum like few ever taken.


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