Legendary rugby union referee Wayne Barnes' retirement date set - Ruck

Legendary rugby union referee Wayne Barnes’ retirement date set

Referee Wayne Barnes had intended to hang up his whistle following the 2019 Rugby World Cup – but was convinced to keep going by fellow referee’s.

However, following the recent retirements of his good friends Nigel Owens and Romain Poite, RUCK sources suggest Barnes will finally quit in 2023.

Next year, selection permitting, will be his fifth Rugby World Cup; he has a growing young family and his wife, Polly, has just had a work promotion.

He also wants to give more time to his “other” job, as a barrister specialising in bribery and corruption at a London chambers.

DID YOU KNOW? In January 2022, Barnes refereed his 250th premiership rugby match


The day jobs of the best rugby referees:

Behind the glitz and glamour of the Six Nations, many world-class referees have had to work around the clock to fulfill their rugby dream.

#1. Ben O’Keeffe

  • Age: 33
  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Occupation: Eye Doctor
  • Six Nations games: Scotland v England

One of New Zealand’s six full-time referees, O’Keeffe is also a qualified doctor specialising in ophthalmology, which deals with eye health and disease. 


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