A statistical look at Wayne Barnes' career ahead of his record-breaking 101st test match

A statistical look at Wayne Barnes' career ahead of his record-breaking 101st test match

England’s Wayne Barnes will become the most-capped referee of all time when he takes charge of his 101st test match on 12 November when France meets South Africa in Marseille in the Autumn Nations Series.

Barnes became the second official to referee 100 test matches last weekend in Cardiff when he oversaw Wales’ 55-23 loss to New Zealand. He followed in the footsteps of his long-time friend Nigel Owens, who achieved the milestone when he took charge of France v Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup in Paris on 28 November 2020.

To mark the occasion, World Rugby published the stats behind Barnes’ international career.


Test debut: Fiji 23-20 Samoa in Suva – 24 June, 2006

50th test: Ireland 26-3 Wales in Dublin – 8 February, 2014

100th test: Wales v New Zealand – 5 November, 2022

101st test: France v South Africa – 12 November, 2022

STATS (as of 10 November, 2022)

Tests as referee: 100

Tests as assistant referee: 85 Tests as TMO: 3

Total: 186 

Yellow cards: 95 

Red cards: 6

First yellow card: Seilala Mapusua (Samoa, v Fiji on 24 June, 2006) First red card: Mosese Luveitasau (Fiji, v Samoa on 24 June, 2006) Tries scored in his tests: 486

Tests with a least one try: 99 – the exception is Australia’s 6-0 defeat of France in June 2014 Tests with more than 10 tries scored: 5 – three of them involving New Zealand.

Most tries scored in one of his tests: 13 (New Zealand 76-14 Italy in September 2007, New Zealand 66-28 Ireland in June 2010 and Canada 65-19 Kenya in November 2018)

Tries converted in his tests: 366 (75.31 per cent)

Points scored in his tests: 4,464

Drop goals in his tests: 24

Penalties in his tests: 408

Four Rugby World Cups: 2007-2019 – Record-holder for most Rugby World Cup matches as a referee (21)

Sixteen Six Nations Championships: 2007-22 – Record-holder for most Six Nations matches as a referee (25)

Eleven Tri-Nations/Rugby Championships: 2007-18 – 13 matches. Third highest behind Nigel Owens (15) and Alain Rolland (14)


Number of teams refereed in tests: 23

In chronological order: Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Romania, Georgia, Wales, Pacific Islanders, Morocco, Portugal, Italy, France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Tonga, USA, Argentina, Scotland, Russia, Canada, Kenya, Uruguay

Team refereed the most: Wales, 29 tests from 2006-22 – 16 of them at the Principality Stadium

Top five teams by tests: Wales (29), France (23), Ireland and New Zealand (21), Australia (20) Only 12 tests have not involved a Six Nations or Rugby Championship team


Players with 100 test appearances (including British and Irish Lions) in a match refereed by Barnes: 43

First test centurions refereed: Fabien Pelous and Gareth Thomas – Wales v France on 26 August, 2007

Last centurions refereed: Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Alun Wyn Jones – Wales v New Zealand on 5 November, 2022

Centurion refereed most often: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 12 tests Tests refereed with at least one centurion involved: 61

Tests refereed with at least three centurions involved: 15

Most centurions refereed in a single test match: 6 – New Zealand v Ireland on 16 July, 2022

Countries with centurions refereed by Barnes: 9 – New Zealand and Ireland (9), Australia and Wales (6), South Africa (5), Italy (4), Scotland (2), France and Russia (1)

Breakdown by country:

New Zealand – Keven Mealamu, Richie McCaw, Daniel Carter, Tony Woodcock, Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett

Ireland – Brian O’Driscoll, John Hayes, Ronan O’Gara, Paul O’Connell, Jamie Heaslip, Rory Best, Cian Healy, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray

Australia – George Gregan, George Smith, Nathan Sharpe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau, Stephen Moore

Wales – Gareth Thomas, Martyn Williams, Stephen Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, George North

South Africa – Victor Matfield, John Smit, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira

Italy – Andrea Lo Cicero, Alessandro Zanni, Sergio Parisse, Leonardo Ghiraldini

Scotland – Chris Paterson, Ross Ford

France – Fabien Pelous

Russia – Yury Kushnarev


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