Rugby World Cup: Wayne Barnes named referee for All Blacks' blockbuster quarter-final against Ireland

A familiar face will take charge of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland on Sunday (NZ time), with England's Wayne Barnes appointed referee for the blockbuster.

Barnes, 44, has a chequered history with the All Blacks, infamously missing a forward pass that resulted in New Zealand's quarter-final exit at the same stage in 2007 against France.

But despite the mistake, Barnes is held in very high regard by the All Blacks.

Last year, the All Blacks gifted Barnes a signed jersey after their 55-23 victory over Wales at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, marking his 100th test as a referee. 

Most recently, Barnes took charge of the All Blacks' 73-0 victory over Uruguay to complete pool play last week. 

Barnes will be assisted by countrymen Matthew Carley and Christophe Ridley, while Tom Foley will work as the television match official (TMO).

Elsewhere, Kiwi Ben O'Keeffe has been backed to officiate arguably the biggest fixture of the quarter-final stage, handed the whistle to oversee hosts France against reigning champions South Africa.

O'Keeffe, 34, is widely considered among the best referees in the world, and took charge of the pool encounter between Ireland and South Africa earlier in the tournament.

Fellow Kiwis Paul Williams and James Doleman will work as O'Keeffe's assistants, while Brendon Pickerill has been named TMO.

South African Jaco Peyper will take charge of the first quarter-final, between Wales and Argentina in Marseille, while Frenchman Mathieu Raynal will officiate the third quarter-final between England and Fiji at the same venue a day later.