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Rugby World Cup final referee Wayne Barnes got death threats, wife says

Wayne Barnes received death threats over his refereeing of the Rugby World Cup final, his wife has said.

Barnes, a 44-year-old English referee, gave New Zealand’s Sam Cane a yellow card, which was upgraded to red after a bunker video review, for an upright tackle on Jesse Kriel during South Africa’s 12-11 victory in Paris on Saturday.

Polly Barnes, co-founder of the Women’s Rugby Association, wrote on social media: “See ya later Rugby World Cup. Won’t miss you, or the death threats.” She referred to a “vile atmosphere at the Stade de France”.

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Barnes received death threats from New Zealand fans in 2007 after he had refereed the All Blacks’ World Cup defeat by France. Last year Polly and their children were the target of threats after he officiated South Africa’s defeat by France.

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