Nigel Owens touching 12 word message to 'close friend; Wayne Barnes - Ruck

Nigel Owens touching 12 word message to ‘close friend; Wayne Barnes

Popular former international referee Nigel Owens has sent a classy message to close friend Wayne Barnes after it was confirmed the English whistleblower will become the games most capped referee.

Barnes, who made his debut in Fiji in June 2006, will become only the second referee to reach a century of tests behind friend Nigel Owens when he takes charge of Wales v New Zealand at the Principality Stadium on 5 November. 

The Englishman will then set an outright record of 101 tests when he referees the match between Six Nations Grand Slam winners France and world champions South Africa in Paris a week later, on 12 November. 

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.” 

Barnes’ close friend Owens then wrote on Twitter: “Huge congratulations to you my friend . Well deserved and a wonderful achievement.”

“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.”