Rugby milestone for record-breaking referee Wayne

Thu, 21 Dec 2017
Old Monmothian Wayne Barnes officiates in the Premiership final between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs in May 2016. Picture by Andrew Fosker for Premiership Rugby.

A former Monmouth student who marshals the biggest stars in rugby union will be creating history tomorrow night (Friday).

Wayne Barnes is set to become the record holder for most Aviva Premiership English rugby matches officiated.

Wayne has refereed 190 Premiership matches – the same as Chris White, who officiated in three World Cups.

However, Wayne, a former pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, will create a new record when he officiates in the relegation clash between Worcester Warriors and London Irish at Sixways.

Wayne, who studied in the Sixth Form at Monmouth, is one of the most recognisable rugby referees in the global game.

Gloucestershire-born Wayne made his debut 14 years ago at the Rec in Bath, dealing with a streaker and a man in cardiac arrest in the stands.

He took up the whistle aged 15 with Gloucester and District Referees and became the youngest official to be appointed to the Rugby Football Union’s panel of national referees six years later.

The Old Monmothian has appeared at three Rugby World Cups and multiple Six Nations while handling dozens of other international Tests every year.

A practising barrister, he works in London every Wednesday, distracting himself from rugby for just 24 hours.

“Whenever you reach a milestone people start asking when you are going to retire, that is probably why I don’t keep an eye on it,” said Wayne, who studied Law at the University of East Anglia.

“But I am only 38 years old still and I am one of the youngest international referees. If I go to Japan it will be my fourth World Cup and I will be 40 then.”