WATCH: Stephen Ferris would love to fight Wayne Barnes in a white-collar boxing match 5 years ago

WATCH: Stephen Ferris would love to fight Wayne Barnes in a white-collar boxing match

Wayne Barnes is public enemy number one when it comes to Irish rugby fans.

There is a sense of dread when he officiates in crunch Ireland games and it may stem from the time he penalised Paddy Wallace when Ireland was victorious over Wales to win the Grand Slam.


One man to get on the wrong side of the English referee on numerous occasions is former Ulster forward Stephen Ferris who recounted his experiences with the referee on the latest edition of SportsJOE Live.

“Five yellow cards I have in my career and he yellow carded me four times and it was for Ireland, the Lions, Ulster. He yellow carded me in all of them.”

Ferris remembered the time he was yellow carded in the 79th minute in Ireland’s opening game of the Six Nations against Wales.


After holding a one-point lead, Barnes rules that Ferris made an illegal tackle and Leigh Halfpenny slotted the crucial penalty to win the game for Wales as they went undefeated during the campaign.

 “I’ve been on the receiving end of decisions that have cost me and have cost Ireland…Wayne Barnes, Ireland versus Wales first game of the Six Nations at home in the Aviva Stadium.

 “I put in a pretty big hit in midfield and lift the guys legs ‘above horizontal’ apparently and a penalty was given. Leigh Halfpenny kicked the three points, which won the game. There was only 30 seconds to go in the game after that.

 “Wales go on to win the Grand Slam and I am proven innocent in a hearing four days later in London. But again, it doesn’t say ‘Wayne Barnes cost Ireland the Six Nations Championship’”

Jokingly, Ferris called out the veteran official.

 “Wayne Barnes, Jesus, I’d love to do a white collar boxing match and I wouldn’t care if he was bare fist and I had to wear the biggest gloves in the land, I reckon I’d still take him down.”


And he didn’t stop there.

 “Me and Wayne Barnes don’t like each other alright, Barnesey if you’re listening, I’m coming after you”

It was all in good fun, however, as Ferris says that he is “A nice guy off of the pitch,” and did stress the difficulty an officiating job entails.

As players, it is very frustrating but at the same time you have to sympathise with the referees to a certain degree because they have a job to do and it can be very difficult at times but it’s just the frustrations and the inconsistencies.”


You can watch the full show below with referee talk starting from 23:48.