Should Ireland lose to Scotland some people are going to blame Wayne Barnes.

That's a given. Even if the score is 40-0, there'll still be a cohort bad-mouthing the English referee

Barnes is to take charge of the World Cup clash on Sunday in Yokohama and has something of a poor reputation on these shores.

Funnily enough, most of that stems from a game Ireland won, the 2009 Grand Slam decider in Wales, but had Stephen Jones' shot from halfway had an extra two yards on it then the poor man would never have been forgiven for correctly awarding a penalty against Ireland in the last play of the game.

"You can't think about the consequences, you don’t have time. You just referee what’s in front of you," said Barnes, an Emirates ambassador, of that particular grievance.

Three years later he blew for a dangerous tackle by Stephen Ferris and Wales kicked a late winner in their Six Nations clash in Dublin.

In 2015 he was again blamed for a championship defeat in Cardiff. Ireland blew it themselves but with Barnes in the middle a useful excuse was found by some.

He is, of course, only applying the laws and points out that he has never put his hands in a ruck and never strayed offside during a game, and it's not his fault if a players chooses to do so.

Speaking to RTE Sport ahead of the tournament, Barnes says that the teams will know the officials' approach ahead of kick-off.

"Alain Rolland, head of officiating, has been in with all the teams already," he said.

"He's been in with the Irish and the Scots teams to explain how the games will be refereed during the World Cup.

"We'll also meet the team coaches when we get to Tokyo, I think on the Monday before the opening match.

"So all the referees and coaches will be in the same room discussing the different elements and how the coaches want the games refereed.

"Because it's not just referees telling the coaches 'this is how the game will be refereed'.

"It's us as a group – referees, players, coaches – saying this is how we can make a really nice product. This is how we can make this Rugby World Cup the best in history.

"So when I go into the changing rooms in Yokohama there won't be any surprises. It will be, 'how are you and can we check the studs. Enjoy the game.'"

After the All-Ireland hurling final, referee James Owens was accused by some of spoiling the game by sending off Kilkenny's Richie Hogan for striking Cathal Barrett of Tipperary towards the end of the first half. 

After dolling out €90 some disgruntled fans would maintain that they are due half of that sum back because the man in the middle had 'ended the game as a contest' or some such nonsense.

That sort of logic rings hollow for the 47-year-old Gloucestershire man.

"If we've got any doubt as referees we’re not going to be sending players off," he says. 

"[But] if someone runs up in the first minute of Scotland versus Ireland and kicks someone in the head then I’m not going to think about spoiling the game.

"It’s not me that’s spoiled the game."

Meanwhile, Barnes, who works as a barrister, has urged fans to have patience with the new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which has been used in England's Premier League for the first time this season.

Barnes' refereeing career started before the introduction of Television Match Officials (TMO) and while he admits the template isn't exactly the same, he has seen first hand how it has improved rugby union.

He said: "It can't be right that you are sitting in the Aviva Stadium and there's been a controversial decision in the corner: was he in touch, was he not? the referee's given a try and then 10 seconds later the whole stadium knows that that's wrong.

"The referee couldn't do anything about it in the past.

"We, as a sport, said that's not good enough, let's bring in technology to help us and that's evolved over the last 12 or 13 years.

"Let's get those big decisions right. That's continued to evolve but we've gone a long way to make sure that the right team wins rather than the team that gets the benefit of a wrong decision.

"It has to be right that sports are grown up enough to say, 'we want the right decision'"

"Football is at the start of that journey, they've been doing a lot of work. I've been in with the refs to help them understand the challenges we have – who do you put in the box, what decisions do you come for, what is a clear mistake?

"But it has to be right that sports are grown up enough to say, 'we want the right decision', not a decision that is debatable afterwards.

"If a player is offside and scores it shouldn't be a goal, if a player should be sent off because he's kicked someone in the knee, and the referee hasn't seen it, then he should be sent off.

"It's all those things so the referee isn't the talking point after the game, the game should be the talking point."

Follow Ireland v Scotland on Sunday (kick-off 8.45am) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and  the News  Now  App, watch live on RTÉ2 from 8am or listen to live match commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.