Barnes to break refereeing record
Wayne Barnes, referee and barrister, will have refereed the most matches in England's Premiership, when he referees the match between Worcester Warriors and London Irish at Sixways on Friday, 213 December 2017.
At the moment he shares the record with Chris White who set the record in 2011. They each have refereed 190 Premiership matches.
Barnes is now 38 and has been refereeing officially for 23 years. When he was 15 and at Whitecross School in Lydney (now the Dean Academy), he joined the Gloucester & District Referees' Society, and since then has become one of the most recognisable referees in the world.
After sixth form at Monmouth School, Barnes read law at the University of East Anglia, refereeing all the time. He was 21 in 2001 when he became the youngest referee ever to reach England's national panel of referees and in 2005 he became a professional referee while still practising as a barrister in London. In 2006, he refereed his first Test - at the Pacific Nations Cup, known that year as the Pacific Five Nations with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Junior All Blacks. Barnes refereed three of the matches in Japan.
Like Nigel Owens, Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper, he first came into the international spotlight on the international Sevens circuit. He has refereed in the biggest international competitions in the world - the World Cup (three times), the Rugby Championship and the Six Nations. He has refereed in Europe's international club championships, refereeing the Heineken Cup final in 2010.
All referees will want to congratulate him on his achievement this Friday and wish him all the best for more years of enjoyable refereeing.