Wayne Barnes



Wayne Barnes is a much sought after former international rugby union referee whose unique experience includes the English Premiership, the Heineken Cup, the European Challenge Cup as well as the Rugby World Cup, the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and the Pacific Nations Cup competitions.

Born in Bream, Wayne was educated at Whitecross School; and the University of East Anglia, graduating with a law degree in 2000. He is a criminal barrister and partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

On 22 December 2017, Barnes broke the all time Premiership appearances record (191) for a referee while officiating Worcester Warriors 23–8 victory over London Irish.

In January 2022, Barnes refereed his 250th Premiership Rugby match. On 5 November 2022, he refereed the match between Wales and New Zealand in the 2022 Autumn Nations Series. It was his 100th international match as a referee, equalling the record set by Wales' Nigel Owens.

In October 2023, Barnes was chosen to referee the 2023 Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France, in his 111th test match and 27th World Cup match. 

Barnes' autobiography, Throwing the Book, written with Ben Dirs, with an audiobook version narrated by Rich Keeble, was released by Hachette on 9 November 2023.

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