Wayne Barnes

Face off: Munster fly-half Ian Keatley checks Wayne Barnes is okay after the ball hit the referee

IT’S A tough life being a referee – hundreds of decisions to make, crowds jeering you, coaches blaming you. There was an even more painful moment for Wayne Barnes recently. During Munster’s Heineken Cup game against Racing Metro in January, Ian Keatley launched a kick and the ball hit Barnes smack in the face.

“The ball travels about 35 metres after hitting my face, showing how hard it hit me,” says Barnes. “My touchjudge, JP Doyle, ran on laughing at me! If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to bring every fan together, it’s the referee getting hit. They’ll all cheer, whether you’re in the middle of the Millennium Stadium or at Old Deer Park.”

To see the moment Barnes gets hit, watch this video…