Barnes to take charge of All Blacks-Springboks final

England's Wayne Barnes, the most experienced referee in history with 110 tests, will officiate Sunday's World Cup final between New Zealand and holders South Africa in Paris, World Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.

Barnes will have compatriots Karl Dickson and Matthew Carley as his assistant referees, with Tom Foley named as the Television Match Official.

Barnes, 44, who made his debut when Fiji played Samoa in Suva in 2006, will become the second Englishman to officiate a World Cup final after Ed Morrison, who was in charge when New Zealand and South Africa last met in the title decider in 1995.

The honour roll of final referees reads: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia, 1987), Derek Bevan (Wales, 1991), Andre Watson (South Africa, 1999 and 2003), Alain Rolland (Ireland, 2007), Craig Joubert (South Africa, 2011), Nigel Owens (Wales, 2015) and Jerome Garces (France, 2019).

It will be a record 27th World Cup match as referee for Barnes in what is his fifth tournament.

He is remembered by many New Zealanders for his officiating in the 2007 quarter-final loss to France in Cardiff, when many believe he missed an obvious forward pass in the lead-up to a French try.

Barnes has gone on to control 25 tests involving New Zealand, with the All Blacks winning 17 of those.

Surprisingly, he has officiated in just one All Blacks-Springboks contest - in 2014, when South Africa won a dead rubber Rugby Championship Test in South Africa 27-25.

The final will be his sixth match in the middle during France 2023, equalling the record he set at RWC 2019 when he took charge of New Zealand's defeat of Wales in the bronze final in Tokyo.

Ian Foster's All Blacks have played under Barnes' whistle twice at the current tournament - in their final pool win over Uruguay and then a week later when they beat world No.1 Ireland 28-24 in a tense quarter-final.

World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Official Manager Joel Jutge said: "Wayne's ability to read and understand the game is second to none. He also embodies the passion, professionalism and dedication that is at the heart of a superb team of match officials at this Rugby World Cup.

"While an individual ultimately has the accolade of refereeing the final, it is the team of 26 officials who have all played their part in this moment."

Australian Nic Berry will officiate the bronze final between England and Argentina that will also be played at the Stade de France on Saturday.

He will be assisted by Nika Amashukeli from Georgia and Ireland's Andrew Brace.