Retired rugby referee Wayne Barnes ranks his three favourite stadiums for atmosphere - Ruck

Retired rugby referee Wayne Barnes ranks his three favourite stadiums for atmosphere

Popular rugby referee Wayne Barnes has picked out the three stadiums he has refereed in that produced the best atmosphere, and surprisingly left out his beloved Twickenham Stoop.


ing about the Millennium Stadium – renamed later as the Principality Stadium – is nigh on perfect save from some early teething problems with the turf which can struggle a little when the roof is on for prolonged periods.

Barnes said: “With the roof closed, there is no better atmosphere.”


Barnes said: “Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium – A stadium which is built up so it feels as if the spectators are on top of the pitch, I’ve refereed two cracking Bledisloe Cup matches there too.”

#1. Twickenham

Barnes said: “A short stroll from home. In the 2015 RWC semi-final, I walked to the stadium from my house with the other match officials. As I crossed the 316 bridge from the Stoop with my bag over my shoulder, I looked across to the West Car Park and thought this is pretty special.”

“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.”