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Emirates Brings Back Rugby Yearbook

Emirates Brings Back Rugby Yearbook - Michael Jones Among 2006 Writers

After a two-year absence, the IRB World Rugby Yearbook has made a celebrated comeback, thanks to Emirates Airline's three-year, multi-million pound sponsorship of the International Rugby Board's international referees.

The book, launched at a press conference held in London yesterday, includes writers such as former international stars Michael Jones from New Zealand, South Africa's Francois Pienaar, Australia's John Eales and England's Will Greenwood.

The celebrations continued with the announcement of the winner of the Rugby Photograph of the Year competition, which was held by Emirates in conjunction with IRB. The first prize of an all-inclusive trip for two to the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s went to Morgan Treacy for his winning photograph.

In February this year, Emirates became the first Official Sponsor of the IRB's international referees, granting the airline a number of sponsorship and promotional benefits. In addition to the branding rights for the international panel of referees and match officials, and exclusive naming rights to the IRB's Awards ceremony, it also includes the association that has brought the IRB Yearbook back.

Gary Chapman, President - Emirates Group Services, said: "Emirates is delighted to be involved with the IRB Yearbook and to celebrate its return to the shelves. Through the addition of increased editorial and established writers, as well as clearer layout and better design, the Yearbook will prove to be the most important reference, statistical and editorial guide to the game."

Commenting on the Photograph of the Year competition, Mr Chapman, a New Zealander, said: "We are witnessing a period of dizzying innovations in the fields of photography, photojournalism, even citizen journalism. Great photographs have a beauty of their own - they succinctly convey more than a thousand words and play a key role in our understanding of the world today. The entries received for the IRB Photographer of the Year Award have been of an incredibly high standard doing exactly what the IRB hoped for in capturing the spirit of rugby. We would like to congratulate Morgan Treacy on his fantastic photograph and for becoming the first ever winner of the competition."

Emirates has been a supporter of rugby for a number of years, seen through its sponsorship of Rugby Sevens at an international level since 1986. Its sponsorship of the Emirates Airline London 7s, Emirates Airline Dubai 7s, Emirates Airline South Africa 7s, England Rugby Sevens team and Samoa Rugby Sevens, as well as of the international referees, has cemented a committed relationship with the IRB, which has enabled it to bring back such a key publication for the rugby community.

ends

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