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Autumn Nations Series photographer shortlisted for prestigious award

Autumn Nations Series photographer shortlisted for prestigious award

Autumn Nations Series photographer shortlisted for prestigious award

A wedding photographer from Tuscany is among the finalists for a prestigious global sports photography award after only his first foray into rugby union.​  

Fabio Mirulla, 37, was more accustomed to capturing centrepieces than set-pieces when he was invited to provide a different view of the game during last year’s Autumn Nations Series.

The tournament’s organisers, Six Nations Rugby, wanted to frame the series through the eyes of a new audience, bringing to life the action as it had not been seen before. The result: not one, but two of Mirulla’s images shortlisted for the World Sports Photography Awards (Rugby).  

Mirulla’s rugby debut came at the Stadio Plebiscito in Padua, as the rejuvenated Azzurri claimed an impressive 49-17 victory against Samoa. His shortlisted images capture two contrasting – yet revealing – moments of a thrilling day in Northern Italy. 

In one, Italy’s charismatic captain, Michele Lamaro, emerges from a maelstrom of bodies – leading from the front in every sense of the word. The second image features an altogether quieter moment in the changing room following the heat of the battle, as the Italian players, battered and bruised, message their families.  

This isn’t Mirulla’s first brush with international recognition. In 2021, he was named the International Wedding Photographer of the Year. The latest acknowledgement of his talents, however, took him by surprise.

“This is a huge plot twist for me,” admitted Mirulla. “It’s quite unexpected considering that I shoot only weddings, but also very rewarding for me as a photographer.

“I love to experiment, and shooting photos of the Autumn Nations Series was definitely a fantastic challenge for me. I really wanted to be true to myself in how the photos were captured.”

For Mirulla, that challenge opened his eyes to the power of sports photography. “The emotions of a particular moment can define not only the atmosphere of the match, but all these amazing athletes’ efforts to produce a game-winning result.

“I’ll cross my fingers for the final outcome of the World Sports Photography Awards, and good luck to all the other finalists too! For me, being shortlisted is a win in itself.”


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