Wayne Barnes will be the man in the middle for Friday’s Championship-deciding clash between France and Scotland in Paris.
The final match of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations will be the Englishman’s fifth involvement as part of an officiating team in this year’s competition, having refereed the Round 1 clash between Wales and Ireland, as well as Italy v Wales in Round 3.
Barnes – who is a barrister in London when he isn’t calling the shots on the field – also ran the line in Dublin when Ireland played France in Round 2, as well as being TMO in that last-gasp French victory over Wales last weekend.
The 41-year-old will be assisted by compatriot Matthew Carley in the French capital, with Italian official Andrea Piardi also keeping an eye on proceedings from the sidelines, while England’s Tom Foley will be on hand as TMO.
With so much riding on Friday’s decider, there is no better man to call the shots than Barnes, who is nearing a century of international refereeing appearances – with this being his 96th appointment at the highest level.
Fabien Galthie’s side need to secure a bonus-point victory over Scotland in order to stand a chance of claiming a first Championship success since 2010 and will need to beat Gregor Townsend’s side by 21 points or more to edge out Wales on points difference.
France v Scotland (Stade de France, Paris; Friday 26 March 2021 – 8pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)