Wayne Barnes took up refereeing at the age of 15 when his first game was Bream III v Berry Hill Wappers. and was the youngest referee ever appointed to the Panel of National Referees at the age of 21. Educated at Whitecross in Lydney and Monmouth School he studied law at the University of East Anglia. He became a full time English referee in April 2005, aged 25, the youngest ever to be appointed, after having earlier pursued a different career, specialising in criminal law in London. He is now a Barrister of Law based at Fulcrum Chambers. His first international appointment was as touch judge in Russia in the winter of 2002. He was a referee in the U19 World Cup in Paris in 2003 and at the U21 World Cup in Argentina in July of 2005. Loved by Kiwis the world over, he actually allowed players to tackle Dan Carter - a fact which sadly saw him dropped from the elite panel in 2012. Barnes managed to annoy at least one Kiwi when he sent Dylan Hartley off for swearing - ending the hooker's chance of becoming a British Lion.