Gerry Thornley: In Wayne Barnes Ireland must trust

Record with the English referee in charge is noticeably worse than with any other

Referee Wayne Barnes awards a penalty to Wales in the last minute of normal time which leads to Ireland’s defeat in the 2012 Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Referee Wayne Barnes awards a penalty to Wales in the last minute of normal time which leads to Ireland’s defeat in the 2012 Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Alan Betson.

The appointment of Wayne Barnes as referee for this Friday night’s Six Nations encounter away to Wales has, most probably, engendered a degree of anxiousness amongst Irish fans.

The 37-year-old English barrister cum referee has long since been lauded by many in the English media and, having been a Test referee since 2006, is vastly experienced, having officiated in four World Cups, yet there’s no doubt Ireland’s record with Barnes in charge is disconcerting.

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