Ireland back as Europe's best

2015-03-03 09:08
Joe Schmidt (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Ireland reclaimed the mantle as the leading northern hemisphere nation in the World Rugby rankings after a 19-9 victory over England in the battle of the unbeaten sides in the Six Nations in Dublin on Sunday.

According to the World Rugby website, the victory turns what was a 0.17 rating point deficit into a 1.27 cushion for Ireland over Rugby World Cup 2015 hosts England. Joe Schmidt’s side are now less than two rating points behind South Africa in second in the rankings.

Wales have increased their margin over France beneath to almost four points after a 20-13 victory over Les Bleus at the Stade de France on Saturday, although the margin was not enough to improve their position of sixth. 

They now sit just a tenth behind Australia, who avoided a drop to their lowest ever position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003. France’s cushion over Argentina has shrunk to just over seven tenths after their second loss of the Six Nations.

Italy’s last gasp win over Scotland did not result in a positional change given the near three-point deficit to Tonga above them in 13th. That has now closed to just over a point on the back of the 22-19 victory at Murrayfield.

Scotland’s loss at home, though, has seen them fall a place to 10th with Samoa the beneficiary.

Top 10 in the latest rankings:

1. New Zealand 93.70
2. South Africa 88.23
3. Ireland 86.38
4. England 85.11
5. Australia 82.95
6. Wales 82.85
7. France 78.96
8. Argentina 78.23
9. Samoa 75.39
10. Scotland 75.22

Read more on:    ireland  |  rugby

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