Six Nations 2015: Wales 'understand' referee Wayne Barnes

Wayne Barnes
Wayne Barnes attended Monmouth School in south Wales
Six Nations 2015: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: 14 March, 2015 Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde says they have a "good understanding" of how Wayne Barnes, who will referee their match against Ireland, reads the game.

Englishman Barnes will officiate on 14 March after Australia's Steve Walsh withdrew due to "business commitments".

Barnes oversaw Ireland's 26-3 win over Wales last year, but McBryde believes Wales are accustomed to his refereeing style.

"We've got a good understanding of how Wayne reads the game," he said.

"We had recent experience with Wayne in the autumn against New Zealand.

"He's a familiar face and he communicates well with the players."

Barnes has overseen four matches between Wales and Ireland, yielding two wins for each side.

Both Welsh victories contributed to Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012, while Ireland's 2009 and 2014 wins were part of a Grand Slam and Six Nations title respectively.

McBryde expects the battle between Welsh and Irish forwards to play an important part at the Millennium Stadium.

"Same as every match, the contact area is going to be huge - and [the] set-piece," he said.

"I am sure Wayne will be on his best on that Saturday."

Ireland have won all three of their matches so far, but have an injury concern in the shape of influential fly-half Jonathan Sexton.

McBryde says his involvement - or potential absence - could have a major bearing on the game.

"He's a big cog for them, he gets the team playing and is obviously very confident with the type of game they play," he added.

"To have someone of his experience and quality is going to help them and make their cause a bit stronger."

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