Nigel Owens sends touching message to Wayne Barnes ahead of landmark test - Ruck

Nigel Owens sends touching message to Wayne Barnes ahead of landmark test

Former rugby referee Nigel Owens has sent a touching message to close friend Wayne Barnes ahead of his 100th test match.

The Englishman equals Owens record of 100 test matches refereed when he takes charge of Wales against New Zealand in Cardiff.

Owens tweeted: “A wonderful person and a wonderful referee. Congratulations and welcome to the 100 club my friend. Enjoy the well deserved occasion and plaudits that rightly so will come your way. Best of luck,”

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont led the tributes to Barnes: “Congratulations to Wayne on his selection and pending record. To be so good for so long as a referee is no easy feat. Wayne Barnes, like Nigel Owens before him, reaches 100 tests by being not just a fantastic referee, but a great team player, a student of the game and someone who is greatly respected by players, coaches and fans alike.” 

Wayne Barnes facts:

  • When not on the pitch or working with the England team, Barnes is a practising barrister
  • Barnes started playing rugby at the age of eight, and took up refereeing aged 15 with Gloucester & District Referees
  • He also has two young children, Juno and Beau with wife Polly.

“Oh god yes” – Wayne Barnes and Nigel Owens rank the five worst players to referee

Nigel Owens and Wayne Barnes have been revealing the toughest players they’ve had to referee during their career as high-profile match officials.

Two of the best referee’s to ever pick up an ACME Whistle, it’s interesting to see who give them the hardest time on the rugby pitch.

Nigel Owens started refereeing in 1987, after his sports teacher John Beynon suggested he take up refereeing after a poor performance in a school game.

#1. Richie McCaw

BARNES SAID: “Richie always had the knack of asking the right question at the right time, sometimes it felt like I was losing a little bit of control. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t talk a lot on the field. He knew the law book inside out and so when he asked a question, he often had a point.”

OWENS SAID: “If anybody had to pick the greatest player in history, it would surely be a difficult choice between him and Gareth Edwards.”