Rugby World Cup 2023 final: Former student Wayne Barnes to referee New Zealand v South Africa

October 25, 2023

Credit: Getty Images/Cameron Spence

In a monumental appointment, former Haberdashers’ Monmouth Sixth Form student Wayne Barnes has been assigned the crucial role of officiating the Rugby World Cup final between rugby giants New Zealand and South Africa, set to captivate the Stade de France this Saturday.

At the age of 44, Barnes is set to make history as only the second Englishman to lead a Rugby World Cup final, following in the esteemed footsteps of Ed Morrison, who took the helm in 1995.

With an impressive track record of overseeing 110 rugby Tests, this marks his fifth appearance as a referee in a World Cup.

He tweeted, “It is the greatest honour of my career to be given the responsibility of refereeing in a Rugby World Cup final 2023. (@WayneBarnesRef)

After his time at our Sixth Form, Barnes continued his education, pursuing a degree in Law at the University of East Anglia. Remarkably, alongside his rugby career, he has also established himself as a practicing barrister. His unique combination of legal expertise and dedication to rugby has set him apart in his field.

We take immense pride in Wayne Barnes’ achievements and are excited to see one of our own taking centre stage in such a spectacular event. His journey from our school to becoming a distinguished referee and barrister serves as an inspiration to our current students. As we eagerly await the final match, we send our best wishes to Wayne as he prepares to officiate this historic game between New Zealand and South Africa.

Read more about Wayne’s visit to our school back in 2018 here.