Wayne Barnes will preside over his ninth Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final as the domestic season comes to a thrilling climax at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
The two sides dominated the regular season, with Exeter the ‘home’ side on Saturday after they topped the table with 87 points, the second-highest total ever accrued, before they defeated Northampton Saints 42-12 in the semi-finals to reach their fourth consecutive Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.
Saracens, meanwhile, dispatched of Gloucester Rugby 44-19 in their semi-final and Mark McCall’s team come into this year’s showpiece event with a hugely impressive recent record of having won the title in three of the past four years.
And with this being Barnes’ 218th Premiership Rugby game, his huge wealth of experience should prove crucial in maintaining order during the game while he will be ably supported by assistant referees Matthew Carley and Tom Foley.
Barnes has been the man in the middle for all but three Premiership Rugby Finals since 2007 while Carley and Foley have both officiated in matches involving the two finalists this season.
Foley, for example, was the referee during their clash in December as the Chiefs defeated Saracens 31-13 while 34-year-old Carley oversaw Exeter’s semi-final win last weekend.
Graham Hughes will make up the officiating line-up as the TMO.
Saturday 1 June: Gallagher Premiership Final
Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens, (Twickenham, 3pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley & Tom Foley
TMO: Graham Hughes
Citing Officer: Shaun Gallagher
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