Wayne Barnes

Wayne Barnes

  • World Rugby Referee & Criminal Barrister
  • Rugby Speaker of the Year
  • Motivational Speaker

Wayne is a barrister and an English international rugby union referee who became a full time referee in April 2005 aged 25, the youngest ever to be appointed.

Wayne started playing rugby at the age of eight, and took up refereeing aged 15 with Gloucester & District Referees. At the age of 21, Wayne became the youngest referee ever appointed to the Panel of National Referees and became a professional referee in April 2005

Wayne was one of three English referees to officiate at the 2007 Rugby World Cup and in 2008, he became the first English official ever to take charge of a match at Croke Park in the Six Nations Championship where Wales beat Ireland 16–12.

After officiating at his second Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 and presiding over the third/fourth place play-off game between Wales and Australia, Wayne refereed the Heineken Cup semi-final match on Sunday 29 April 2012; Clermont Auvergne v Leinster.

Wayne was one of 12 referees selected to officiate the 2015 Rugby World Cup and in 2017 he broke the all-time Premiership appearances record, 191, for a referee while officiating Worcester Warriors 23-8 victory over London Irish.

In 2019, Wayne was selected as one of the referees to officiate the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Wayne is an exceptionally good Rugby Speaker, After Dinner Speaker and Host who is both entertaining and inspiring so if you have an event in mind, please call a Prime Performers Booking Agent on 020 3500 3331 to discuss your requirements.

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