WAYNE BARNES has been appointed to officiate the 2023 Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and South Africa.
The old rivals will go head-to-head at the Stade de France for the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup.
NEW ZEALAND VS SOUTH AFRICA: ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED AHEAD OF HUGE RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL
Wayne Barnes will oversee a Rugby World Cup final for the first time in his career – find out more about the official below.
Who is Wayne Barnes?
Wayne Barnes was born in 1979 in Bream, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
He started playing rugby at the age of eight and then took up refereeing at the age of 15.
At the age of 21, Barnes became the youngest referee ever appointed to the Panel of National referees. He became a professional referee in 2005.
Just two years later, he officiated at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, a competition he would referee at again in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.
Following the retirement of Wales' Nigel Owens, many believe Barnes to be the world's best referee.
Barnes is regularly heard communicating in French when he referees teams from the country in international and European matches.
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Does Wayne Barnes have another job?
Yes! Wayne Barnes works part-time as a barrister.
He has previously spoke about his weekly schedule: “On Monday and Tuesday, we’ll do reviews and training as a referees group.
“On Wednesday I try to be in the chambers in town most of the time. Then it depends on what the weekend is looking like.
"If it’s a Premiership game, I’ll likely be in chambers on Thursday too; if it’s a European week I’ll probably be travelling.
"It’s important to get away from rugby at times and this (being a barrister) is a good way to switch off.”
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