Referee Wayne Barnes is one of the most decorated officials in the game of rugby union. The Englishman has ruled over some of the sport’s biggest matches.
He will break the record for most Aviva Premiership Rugby matches refereed on Friday when he takes charge of Worcester Warriors’ home clash with London Irish.
Barnes, 38, currently sits atop the all-time list alongside Chris White on 190 matches refereed in English rugby’s top League, the latter having set the mark between 1997 and 2011.
But at Sixways on Friday Barnes will move out on his own and Premiership Rugby Rugby Director Phil Winstanley offered his and the League’s thanks.
Speaking ahead of the game, Winstanley offered his congratulations.
“This weekend Wayne will receive many well deserved plaudits from across the game and all of these are fully deserved.
“In the last 15 years Wayne has arguably become the number one referee in world rugby and we’re fortunate to have Wayne plying his trade in the Aviva Premiership each week.
“He has travelled the world for many years officiating Premiership, European and International rugby yet the quality and level of performance rarely waivers.
“He’s an extremely consistent performer and has been over many years, and he is held in high regard by players and coaches alike. Whilst he will may soon notch up 191 Premiership Rugby fixtures on Friday night, you can see on match days that he has lost none of retained his enthusiasm over the years and thoroughly enjoys what he does and I’m sure that there are many more appearances to come yet.”