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Wayne Barnes To Referee Ireland’s World Cup Opener Against Scotland

Wayne Barnes To Referee Ireland’s World Cup Opener Against Scotland

Wayne Barnes most recently refereed Ireland when they overcame New Zealand in memorable fashion at the Aviva Stadium last November ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

England’s Wayne Barnes has been selected to referee the Celtic derby between Ireland and Scotland in Pool A, following today’s announcement of the match official appointments for the pool stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Barnes will have the whistle when Ireland begin the tournament against the Scots in Yokohama on Sunday, September 22. Six days later, Angus Gardner from Australia will referee the meeting of Ireland and World Cup hosts Japan in Shizuoka.

Jérôme Garcès of France and Australia’s Nic Berry will referee Ireland’s final two pool matches respectively, with Garcès in charge of Ireland v Russia in Kobe on Thursday, October 3. The Brisbane-born Berry, a World Cup debutant like Gardner, will be the man in the middle for Ireland v Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday, October 12.

IRFU international referee Andrew Brace will also be busy during the pool campaign in Japan, receiving assistant referee appointments for six games in total – Australia v Fiji, Fiji v Uruguay, South Africa v Namibia, England v Argentina, South Africa v Canada and England v France.

Click here to view the full appointments for the 2019 Rugby World Cup pool matches.

Interested in becoming a referee? Click here for information from the IRFU Referee Department.

Wales’ Nigel Owens will have the honour of refereeing the opening match of the Rugby World Cup when home side Japan take on Russia at Tokyo Stadium on Friday, September 20, kicking-off a 44-day global celebration of rugby and its values.

All match officials have been appointed to at least three pool matches, and with fixtures taking place across 12 venues the length and breadth of Japan, the appointments reflect the need for optimal load management, including preparation, travel and recovery time.

The appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee, comprising Chairman Anthony Buchanan (Council member), Joel Jutge (EPCR), Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR), Nick Mallett (former international coach) and Alain Rolland (World Rugby). The appointments for the knockout stages will be made after the final pool ties.

With significant strength in depth in international officiating, the team was selected on merit after a comprehensive review of performances and features an exciting and strong blend of experience and youth and follows a hugely productive match officials camp in Japan last week focusing on team culture, processes and alignment.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Buchanan said: “We are building strong momentum towards this year’s Rugby World Cup and I am delighted to say that there is a very strong team ethic across the match officials group, a superb culture, and a determination to perform at their best at Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.

“The announcement of the appointments for the pool games is another major milestone on that journey. Each referee has at least three pool matches, and the selections have been made with optimal preparation in mind. There’s a great deal of excitement within the group and they are working extremely hard to ensure clear and consistent decision-making in all respects.”

With the World Cup now just 63 days away and global excitement building, fans can still secure their place at rugby’s showcase event via the official public match tickets, travel and hospitality package programmes accessed by visiting www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.

Andrew Brace was featured in a series of interviews with IRFU referees that also included Joy Neville and Sean Gallagher.

Whistle While You Work  – IRFU Referees In Focus – click here.


IRELAND v SCOTLAND, International Stadium Yokohama, Sunday, September 22, 4.45pm local time/8.45am Irish time

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere, Alexandre Ruiz (both France)
Television Match Official: Graham Hughes (England)

JAPAN v IRELAND, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Saturday, September 28, 4.15pm local time/8.15am Irish time

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Matthew Carley (England)
Television Match Official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

IRELAND v RUSSIA, Kobe Misaki Stadium, Thursday, October 3, 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television Match Official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

IRELAND v SAMOA, Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Saturday, October 12, 7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television Match Official: Rowan Kitt (England)