ABs run into familiar refs
Two familiar but unpopular names with All Blacks fans will be back in charge of the New Zealand team on its end of year tour.
French referee Jerome Garces – who sent Sonny Bill Williams for an early shower in the second test against the British and Irish Lions last year – and Wayne Barnes, the English referee who awarded a controversial try in the All Blacks’ quarterfinal loss to France in 2007, will be in charge of All Blacks tests in the northern hemisphere.
Garces, who red-carded Williams in Wellington for a no-arms shoulder charge on Lions wing Anthony Watson, will control the All Blacks test against England at Twickenham on November 10.
Williams became the first All Black sent off in a test in 50 years.
Barnes, who awarded the French a match-winning try in the 2007 World Cup quarterfinal despite what appeared to be a forward pass, will control the All Blacks test against Ireland – arguably the most important match of the tour – at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 17.
The other two All Blacks tests on the tour will be controlled by relative newcomers on the test scene.
The All Blacks test against Italy on November 24 will be controlled by Ireland referee Andrew Brace and Englishman Matthew Carley will referee the test against Japan, the All Blacks’ first match of the tour, on November 3.