|Barnes refereeing a match between Toulouse and Connacht|
|Date of birth||20 April 1979|
|Place of birth||Gloucestershire, England|
European Challenge Cup
Wayne Barnes (born 20 April 1979 in Gloucestershire, England) is an English international rugby union referee. He is a regular referee in the Aviva Premiership, and has refereed games in the Heineken Cup and the European Challenge Cup. He has also refereed matches at the Rugby World Cup and in the Six Nations competitions.
Barnes was educated at Whitecross School in Lydney, where he was head boy, Monmouth School and at the University of East Anglia. He started playing rugby at age eight, and took up refereeing aged 15 with Gloucester & District Referees. At university he transferred to the London Society of RFU Referees. Barnes is the youngest referee ever appointed to the Panel of National Referees, having been given the position in 2001, aged just 21. He became a professional referee in April 2005, parking a career in law to do so.
Barnes refereed at the 2003 U19 World Cup in Saint-Denis, the 2005 Under 21 Rugby World Championship in Argentina, and was the English representative on the Sevens circuit from December 2003 to March 2005. In 2006, Barnes made his Test debut as a referee, taking charge of three matches in the inaugural Pacific Five Nations.
Barnes was one of three English referees to officiate at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the others being Chris White and Tony Spreadbury. After he missed a forward pass in the quarter-final between New Zealand and France, which resulted in the French scoring the game-winning try and New Zealand being knocked out of the tournament, and also failing to penalise France for much of the match, Bebo profiles were created by some New Zealand fans dedicated to criticising Wayne Barnes refereeing performance. Comments at Bebo and other internet sites, including death threats and personal abuse, were condemned by the International Rugby Board and then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. Graham Henry, the New Zealand coach, also criticised Barnes performance in his biography released in 2012.
In the 2009 Six Nations Championship, Barnes refereed the final-day decider between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff where Ireland were chasing their first Grand Slam for 61 years and Wales chasing the Championship.
He was appointed in 2008 to take charge of his first Heineken Cup knockout match, between Stade Toulousain and Cardiff Blues at Le Stadium on 6 April 2008. In 2010, Barnes officiated his first Heineken Cup Final between Toulouse and Biarritz at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, on 22nd May.
On Sunday the 5th February he refereed the Ireland v Wales game in the 2012 Six Nations Championship.
Although still an elite IRB referee, Barnes was not selected to referee any mid-year Tier 1 internationals in 2012, but was one of the officials present at the Pacific Nations Cup in Japan.
Barnes refereed the Heineken Cup semi-final match on Sunday 29th April 2012; Clermont Auvergne v Leinster.
- "Wayne Barnes Joins Elite Referees". RFU.com. 2005-04-06. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "Premiership Referees". GuinnessPremiership.com. Retrieved 2007-04-29.[dead link]
- "Ref faces backlash as 'pampered' ABs, not Henry, take the blame". The New Zealand Herald. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Death threats outrage refs chief". BBC News. 8 October 2007.
- Mole, Giles (09 Oct 2007). "English ref Wayne Barnes backed after NZ slur". The Telegraph (London).
- "Don't blame the ref - Clark". New Zealand Herald. Tuesday Oct 9, 2007.