Wayne Barnes, the man who refereed the 2007 World Cup game between France and New Zealand, has suggested that we could have seen a very different result to that quarter-final match if the officials had the benefit of today’s allowed technologies.

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France pulled off one of the most famous results in the history of World Cups, besting the considerably more fancied All Blacks 20-18.

In the build-up to 69-minute game-clinching try, a forward pass was thrown by Freddie Michalak to the supporting Yannick Jauzion which was missed by Barnes and his refereeing team.

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Premiership Rugby has issued a statement confirming a return-to-train delay.

Under the rules of the time, the TMO was unable to call the play back and Barnes, who was in a position that made it difficult for him to see the forward pass, awarded the try.

Under the current laws, however, a referee can ask their TMO to check anything in the lead-up to a try.

“We did have technology in play but not for decisions like that,” Barnes told Stuff. “The television match official can rule on build-up incidents now, so I would have seen the error in a few seconds.

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“It was pretty obvious on the replay, wasn’t it? We’d have gone back for a scrum and we wouldn’t still be talking about it.”

Barnes has been on the receiving end of considerable criticism from Kiwi supporters since that quarter-final.

“I think I was voted the third most-hated man in New Zealand that year so it was pretty impressive,” the experienced referee told BT Sports early last year.

“As a referee, you never want to be in the headlines and whenever you are, whether you’re right or wrong, that’s not what you’re there for.”

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Now widely considered one of the best referees in the world, Barnes has confirmed that he has at least one more year of high-level officiating to go – at the minimum.

“Reports of my imminent retirement have been exaggerated,” the 41-year-old said.

“I was always due to take stock after the World Cup in Japan. The 2021 Lions is appealing and given that Nigel [Owens] did the 2015 World Cup final at the same age I’ll be in 2023, who knows?”

Englishman Barnes also revealed that he had been shoulder-tapped to officiate last year’s World Cup final but that plan was thrown out the window when England progressed through to the match.

“I was given a heads up that I would probably have got the final,” Barnes said.

“Which would the English public rather have had — me on show or England in the final?”

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