Wayne Barnes will referee France’s Test against New Zealand on November 26.
Barnes took charge of the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between the two countries, a game France won 20-18. His performance came in for criticism afterwards from New Zealand with then coach Graham Henry highlighting how they did not get a penalty in the final 60 minutes of the match and questioned his call to allow a dubious pass in the build up to France’s second try.
All Blacks legend Richie McCaw, in his autobiography The Open Side, also questioned Barnes’ suitability for that match. “My beef isn’t with Barnes so much as with his inexperience” he wrote. “This was Barnes’ biggest game by far. On the big stage, an inexperienced referee is likely to become so afraid of making a mistake that he stops making any decisions at all.
“By the end of it, I thought Barnes was frozen with fear and wouldn’t make any big calls.”
Barnes is regarded as one of the world’s finest referees and his appointment for that match comes as World Rugby confirms who will preside over the end-of-year Tests.
Other appointments include Mathieu Raynal taking charge of New Zealand’s match against Ireland in Chicago while Jérôme Garcès will take the whistle for England’s November opener against South Africa. Jaco Peyper will referee England’s Test against Australia on Dec. 3.
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Wayne Barnes to referee France vs. New Zealand
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