WATCH: Wayne Barnes Applauded For Incredible Bit Of Refereeing In Premiership Clash

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Safety first.

Englishman Wayne Barnes has been applauded for an incredible piece of refereeing in yesterday’s Bank Holiday Monday clash between Wasps and Bath.

Wasps came away with a huge 27-23 win to move into the Premiership’s top four but were hit hard by injuries in the first half, losing starting hooker Tommy Taylor injury before his replacement Gabriel Oghre was forced off just eight minutes later with a concussion.

House of Rugby is back with a brand new URC show – fronted by RugbyLAD founder Jason Hennessy and Ireland international Megan Williams. Follow and subscribe to it HERE.

Following this, the away side then made the decision to keep scrums contested, bringing on replacement prop Simon McIntrye and switching starting prop Tom West to hooker, but referee Wayne Barnes had a few questions first.

Barnes approached Wasps manager Dave Bassett to make sure they were “happy” to switch West to hooker and keep scrums contested, but despite Bassett being adamant they were happy, the referee decided to talk to the player first.

“If you can hook, you can hook and it will be contested scrums,” Barnes said to West.

“They [Wasps] are telling me you’re a confident hooker. If you’re not confident I’ll order uncontested scrums… make a decision.

West shakes his ahead and be seen communicating to Barnes that he wasn’t confident and notes hasn’t played there in “three years” to one of his teammates.

Barnes then relays this message back to Wasps and orders that scrums will be uncontested in the interest of “player safety” in an applaudable move.

“Okay, I’ve just checked with your player out of safety, Barnes says.”

“He’s told me he is not confident to hook so it is uncontested scrums but you have to bring a player on in the front row. Player safety is paramount and he’s told me he is not confident to scrummage. 

When Barnes returns to the pitch he then makes it very clear for both teams in terms of what exactly is now happening.

“It is uncontested scrums gentlemen, but they [Wasps] will go to three in the front row who has played front row.

Top refereeing from the Englishman.