Touch-Line: Kai Horstmann and daughter. Exeter Chiefs final match of season Sandy Park (photograph)


Rugby as family Sank’s images of rugby players suggest a double-edged mixture of strength and tenderness seldom seen in conventional sports photography.

Rugby’s offer of familial comfort is explored: whether at Exeter Chiefs or local clubs Sank finds teams acting as sub-families; bringing support and protection if a team member is stricken by injury or accident. There is a sense of belonging and a space in which emotions can be freely expressed. Family and ritual are seen combining after the final game of the season as players bring their children onto the pitch.

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