Author Topic: Clermont v La Rochelle - Challenge Cup Final - Wayne Barnes  (Read 119 times)

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RCG

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Around 28,000 in St James' Park to watch the warm up match prior to today's Champions Cup were treated to a rare feast of open, shackles off rugby from two decent sides. Pockets of yellow within the stadium making plenty of noise, with a vast mix of other fans both from England and beyond.
The rugby was not always accurate but the occassional bouncing ball created excitement and unpredictability.
The better, more clinical side won although La Rochelle did threaten a comeback with 12 minutes to go.
In the midst of all the Gallic adventure 3 (well actually 6) musketeers from these shores, led superbly by Wayne Barnes. His last European game could not have been better. An odd scrum penalty aside he managed the contest perfectly supported by Matt Carley and Luke Pearce, with an odd prompt by Rowan Kitt (TMO)
Virtually every player shook his hand at the end, many of the coaching staff too. The hugs he received from his 2 assistants were touching. A fitting end to this part of his career.
And so later to Leinster vs Saracens and Mr Garces

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Hendo

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Thanks for the excellent report RCG. Didnít see the game but good to hear it was entertaining and that the English team played their part.
When Wayne Barnes was promoted to international level all those years ago I must say I had reservations but thankfully unfounded ones as he has become one of the top 3 refs in the World in recent years along with Owens and Garces. If England donít reach the WC Final then he must be a good bet for the final, though the other 2 will challenge him closely ( I think both will be too old in 2023 and Owens could do an Andre Watson and Ref back to back finals).
I know Barnes is backing out at the top due to business and family priorities but part of me feels we wonít have seen the last of him and he will be back in some refereeing admin or training role at some stage in the future as he has too much to offer. Watch this space!