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'Very misleading': Wayne Barnes responds to All Blacks' 'complaints' over RWC final refereeing

By Josh Raisey
Referee Wayne Barnes talks to Ardie Savea of New Zealand after teammate, Sam Cane (not pictured) was shown a red card during the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade de France on October 28, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

After refereeing South Africa’s World Cup final win over the All Blacks last month, Wayne Barnes has responded to the reports that New Zealand have sent a complaint to World Rugby over the officiating, saying “you’re never quite sure what that means”.


The match was crammed full of significant moments, including the first ever World Cup final red card shown to All Blacks captain Sam Cane, as well as three other yellow cards being brandished. Just days after the 12-11 loss at the Stade de France, the losing head coach Ian Foster said that they had “already sent a file into World Rugby to get them to make a few comments on… Hopefully they do.”

Joining The Evening Standard Rugby Podcast with Lawrence Dallaglio this week after recently announcing his retirement from refereeing, the 44-year-old said that the All Blacks’ actions are nothing new and that they send feedback of that nature after every game.

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All Black coach Ian Foster speaks about his team’s one-point loss to the Springboks in the World Cup Final

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All Black coach Ian Foster speaks about his team’s one-point loss to the Springboks in the World Cup Final

Barnes was in charge of three All Blacks matches during the World Cup, and said that their “diligent” coaching staff asked World Rugby for clarification for the first two matches against Uruguay and Ireland, so something similar would be expected after the final. But he stressed that he has not seen that feedback and that reports that there have been complaints can be “very misleading”.

“So I refereed New Zealand three times during the tournament,” Barnes said.

“Refereed them against Uruguay, refereed them against Ireland and refereed them in the final but they sent feedback after every game. So they would say, ‘can you clarify these points?’ So writing to complain to World Rugby, as I’ve seen some of the headlines this week, can be very misleading.”

“I’m sure because Ian Foster is very diligent and with Joe [Schmidt] next to him, and they always go into detail after a match. And so after those other two matches, there’s a lot of detail, asking questions of you know, of clarification. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve sent those into World Rugby. I haven’t seen those yet.”


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WayneBaenesIsAMutt 13 days ago

Wayne barnes should join the Queen

david 216 days ago

I would like to see consistent refereeing.Also time restraints on penalty advantage.And allow the coaches to call a certain amount of var incidents.
I feel the whole world cup was spoiled by the refs as they seemed to all play different rules.
Also the amount of offsides committed when kicking was ridiculous.

Backinblack 216 days ago

Just out of interest is Rubgypass a South African site?

Backinblack 216 days ago

At least other countries don’t go absolutely hysterical and deranged like Rassie (The Bok coach) does after a Bok loss… it’s embarrassing… and Bok supporters love to stick it up the AB fans as poor losers when they win… but if they lose they are the biggest whingers and moaners in the world… they dissect the game and do a Rassie everytime… and if they win are the biggest gloaters….OMG it has to be seen to be believed. Too funny. I lived in Capetown during a AB tour and witnessed it first hand…. But the biggest poor loser incident was when a Bok fan ran on to the field and physically attacked the referee during an AB/Bok match… the ultimate poor loser tactic.

Jon 216 days ago

Correct response from Barnes ‘Get stuffed sheep lovers — go cry for the next 4 years’

Peter 217 days ago

I thought Barnes had a good game. I have played and reffed.

Easy_Duzz-it 218 days ago

🤣🤣 people still crying about the final . Get over it ! foster was never going to win the big one … we were stupid to believe we ever had a chance . The boys had zero composure and we lost in the end … to many play makers & not enough punch in the forwards … Hooo haaa razor ray Hooo ha razor ray

Michael 218 days ago

I watch the entire game. This referee installed himself in a biased way. Some of the calls were absolutely ridiculous, unavoidable because of the offensive players change of level in such a short manner less than one step. Nobody has reactions like that when they were traveling at such a fast pace, this man should not have injected himself into the game referee is not noticeable if he does a good job when you play half the game 14 on 15 and still only lose by one point it’s obvious that New Zealand didn’t win I think the fix was in I would investigate the man’s finances for the past year His crypto account, his bank account and anything he has to do with as far as deck. Thank you.

Peter 218 days ago

Sadly it is easier to blame the ref than take responsibility for our own tactical errors plus stupid actions. Ignor thecref, our actions lost the game!

Keniterika 218 days ago

2007 world cup quarter-final blacks vs france, forward pass and the try was allowed.

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