The first weekend of the Autumn Nation series produced some gripping rugby with lots of close results that could have seen either team come out on top. The weekend was extra special for two individuals involved in the events as Wayne Barnes took charge of his 100th test equalling Nigel Owens for the most tests refereed, Whilst Conor Murray, a centurion through his time with Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, finally made his 100th appearance for Ireland. Although it is bittersweet for the Irish scrum-half as he came off injured and will miss the rest of the series.
Barnes refereed his 100th test at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on November 5th overseeing the Wales and New Zealand game. He is set to Break Nigel Owens Record this weekend coming as he is due to take charge of the match between reigning Six Nations grand slam winners France and reigning World Champions South Africa. This career milestone adds to an already impressive domestic career in which Barnes holds the record for appearances as a referee in the Premiership. Barnes has over 250 appearances and has comfortably beat the previous record of 190 which he surpassed in 2017. He was also Rugby referee of the year in 2019.
Conor Murray has enjoyed a successful career with Ireland, the Lions, and Munster, making his international debut in August of 2011. He has now played 100 games for Ireland and 8 with the British and Irish Lions. Scoring 16 international tries along the way and lifting the Six Nations championship 3 times with a Grand Slam win in 2018. He is now a part of a group with 7 other elite Irish players who have represented their country 100 times.
Congratulations to Wayne Barnes the newest addition to the toughest membership in the world, and to Conor Murray for reaching the century mark for his country.