Match officials have trended for all the wrong reasons during the Rugby World Cup, but Wayne Barnes became a social media hit for a less controversial reason.
Fans were impressed that the referee, who also speaks French, had learnt some Russian to communicate with their players during their clash with Scotland.
Barnes, who spent time with the Russia squad last year to go over law changes, shouted ‘nyet!’, which means no, multiple times to the amusement of fans everywhere.
Real highlight of the half is Wayne Barnes yelling, “nyet” like an extra in a Bond film #SCOvRUS— Graham Love (@GLove39) October 9, 2019
Profoundly enjoying Wayne Barnes saying ‘Nyet!’ to the Russian players, then just saying everything else in English, like he’s Colossus from the X-Men or something… #SCOvRUS pic.twitter.com/SrXoKAezHs— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) October 9, 2019
#RWC2019: We worked with Wayne Barnes ahead of our Autumn Internationals last year. Nice to hear he’s remembered some words of Russian. Top effort from the man in the middle #SCOvRUS pic.twitter.com/lDDd91gnV8— Rugby Union Russia (@russiarugby) October 9, 2019