Wayne Barnes

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Ireland’s CJ Stander runs at Scotland’s Sean Maitland during the Rugby World Cup Pool A game in Yokohama. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There was much to admire in Ireland’s hard-nosed and ruthlessly emphatic 27-3 victory over Scotland, not least the vindication of the team selection, (...)

New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick suffered a serious shoulder injury when he was careered out of a ruck recently. It is an injury that is likely to keep him out of Saturday’s game against South Africa.  Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

When day breaks next Monday in the Land of the Rising Sun, we will have learnt a lot. Some key matches will be over, including Ireland v Scotland (re(...)

Alain Rolland: With the aid of World Rugby’s elite referee manager, the referees will have worked at  mental strength, fitness, consistency and teamwork. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield

Let’s spare a thought for the 21st team travelling to Japan – the match officials. For the last four years, exactly the same as the players, these wi(...)

Wayne Barnes will referee Ireland’s opening Rugby World Cup fixture against Scotland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Wayne Barnes will referee Ireland’s opening Rugby World Cup fixture against Scotland on Sunday September 22nd. Barnes is a familiar face for the Ire(...)

  Rob Kearney celebrates at the final whistle after the battle with Clermont in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

April 2012. Someway, somehow we kept out Clermont Auvergne under blazing Bordeaux sun. Walking back down the tunnel at Stade Chaban-Delmas that unmist(...)

Jerome Garces during the Heineken Champions Cup match between Munster and Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park inJanuary. Photograph: Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Frenchman Jerome Garces will referee his first Heineken Champions Cup final when he takes charge of next month’s clash between Saracens and Leinster. (...)

 George North of Wales scores the first try during the Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff in March  2017. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

There is a bus story from 2005 that Mike Ruddock likes to tell and retell, as is his right forever more. “I remember talking to Reggie Corrigan about(...)

Ireland’s Garry Ringrose attempts to tackle George North of Wales during the defeat at the Principality Stadium in 2017. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It’s a relatively minor glitch in the gilded Joe Schmidt era. It only amounts to two defeats. But in his six seasons as head coach, during which tim(...)

Ireland’s Keith Earls  dives to score a try despite  tackles from Italy’s  Tito Tebaldi and  Alessandro Zanni during the Six Nations match  at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: VIncenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Italy 16 Ireland 26 The sight of Johnny Sexton kicking a towel after leaving the fray in the 78th minute, not in anger at being replaced but rather i(...)

Johnny  Sexton, Joe Schmidt and Jacob Stockdale at Ireland training on Friday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Italy v Ireland, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Sunday 4pm local time/3pm Irish. On TV: Live on ITV (UK), Virgin Media (Ireland). Ireland haven’t hit their s(...)

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