England, Italy on the move
Cape Town - Italy’s reward for making it back-to-back Six Nations
wins over France in the Eternal City is a one-place climb to ninth in the latest IRB world rankings, a position they have not occupied since 2007.
According to the IRB website
, tries from captain Sergio Parisse and prop Martin Castrogiovanni helped Italy to a 23-18
victory over France at the Stadio Flaminio on Sunday, a result which lifts the Azzurri above Wales.
The defeat was a costly one for France as they surrender their position as the leading northern hemisphere nation in the rankings with England assuming fourth spot by just over four tenths.
England ran out 38-18
winners over Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday but that result had no impact on their rating, with the Scots remaining in their lowest ever position of 12th after failing to end a 30-year wait for victory over the Auld Enemy at the venue.
Ireland were the other winners in round one, withstanding a Welsh second-half fightback to win 30-22
at the Millennium Stadium. They remain sixth, just over two rating points behind France and now 3.62 points above Samoa and Argentina below them.
The defeat - their eighth in a row since completing the Grand Slam last March - means Wales equal their lowest ever position in the rankings, one they last occupied after losing to Fiji at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.