Wayne Barnes, the most capped referee in activity, will referee his first World Cup final on Saturday, between South Africa and New Zealand. He will be assisted by his compatriots Karl Dickson and Matthew Carley, while Tom Foley will be the video referee. This is the fifth time that Wayne Barnes has officiated at a World Cup at only 44 years old, after those of 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. New Zealand supporters have very bad memories of him since the World Cup. World 2007…
Why do New Zealanders have bad memories of Wayne Barnes?
For his first World Cup, in 2007 at just 28 years old, Wayne Barnes experienced quite a baptism of fire. After refereeing four matches in the first round, he was selected for the quarter-final between France and New Zealand in Cardiff. In the second half, the Englishman did not see a forward pass between the French Damien Traille and Frédéric Michalak, which led to the try qualifying the French team for the semi-finals (20-18). This unfortunately caused him to receive death threats from certain New Zealand supporters. The All Blacks therefore undoubtedly have bad memories of the Englishman ever since.
Who is Wayne Barnes? Wayne Barnes was born on April 20, 1979 in England in Gloucestershire, in the town of Bream. Young Wayne started playing rugby at the age of 7 but never considered a professional career after an injury at the age of 15 forced him to give up the sport he loved so much. . At least, as a player and second row, because he decided to turn to refereeing in the wake of this disappointment.
Wayne Barnes quickly rose through the ranks, joining the list of referees in the English Premier League at the age of 21, although he still had to wait three years to referee his first match, in October 2003. He made his European Cup debut in 2005 and became the youngest professional English referee at 25 the same year. He decides to give up his job as a lawyer specializing in criminal law. Two years later, he was selected to referee his first World Cup, in 2007.
Wayne Barnes regularly referees the best matches, whether in the United Kingdom, in the European Cup or at international level. The English referee had announced his retirement in 2018 to devote himself to his career as a lawyer, but he quickly reversed his decision and was ultimately one of the referees selected for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Wayne Barnes has therefore been selected to officiate at the last five World Cups and will have the privilege, for his fifth, of refereeing the final, after having officiated during the small finals of 2011 and 2019.
Did Wayne Barnes put Toulouse at a disadvantage in the European Cup?
Wayne Barnes regularly crystallizes the tensions of supporters of European and international teams. A divisive referee, but recognized by his peers and by the entire rugby world, the Englishman has been in the sights of Stade Toulousain fans for several months. He was at the center of the debate before the European semi-final ultimately lost to Leinster (41-22), but ultimately held his place perfectly. Toulouse coach Ugo Mola had also welcomed the choice to appoint him referee before the match.
Who is Wayne Barnes’ wife?
Wayne Barnes has been married to his wife Polly since 2000 and the two have known each other since they were teenagers. They have been together for around 20 years now and have two children together, Juno and Beau. Polly, who played rugby as a child, is regularly the target of online threats after certain performances by Wayne Barnes, who admitted in 2022 to having considered quitting after death threats against Polly and the children.
What is Wayne Barnes’ salary?
A professional referee for around twenty years now, Wayne Barnes is considered one of the best in the world and as such is also one of the highest paid referees. His salary is estimated between €100,000 and €200,000 per year.