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Referee reveals he’s preparing to call time on refereeing career

English referee Wayne Barnes has revealed in the Guardian that begins his last full Premiership season at Exeter this weekend.

Over a coffee in Twickenham this week, barely 24 hours after flying back from Auckland, the 39-year‑old Barnes revealed to Guardian journalist Rober Kitson that there were several factors have prompted his decision.



Next year, selection permitting, will be his fourth 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

As it stands that means this Saturday’s game between Exeter and Leicester will in effect mark the start of his last full Premiership campaign, with RWC 2019 in Japan earmarked as his international swansong.

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