Six Nations

England jump in IRB rankings

2012-03-13 11:16
England centre Brad Barritt (File)
Dublin - England are now the leading northern hemisphere nation in the IRB world rankings after climbing two places to fourth on the back of their 24-22 away victory over France in the Six Nations on Sunday.

The victory has seen the two sides swap places with England now occupying the position the other nations crave in order to avoid the prospect of being drawn in the same pool as defending champions New Zealand, Australia or South Africa in the RWC 2015 Pool Allocation Draw.

England last occupied fourth spot before their Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-final defeat to France and by avenging that loss have ensured that Les Bleus have slipped three places in the space of two weeks after failing to win on home soil against Ireland or England.

Wales have remained stationary in fifth despite keeping their Grand Slam dreams alive with a 24-3 victory over Italy at the Millennium Stadium, a consequence of being the home side and ranked seven places and 9.29 points above the Azzurri.

The Welsh now face a Grand Slam decider against the wounded French with only 0.01 separating the two sides, and given they lie only 0.31 behind England they could have more to celebrate than the coveted clean sweep.

Seventh ranked Ireland have inched a little clear of Argentina on the back of a 32-14 defeat of Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, but still lie two points shy of France above them.

Scotland remain 11th, now only 1.36 points ahead of Italy before their wooden spoon decider in Rome.

New Zealand, Australia and South Africa remained unchanged as the world's Top 3 rugby playing nations.

Top 20 in the latest IRB world rankings:

1. New Zealand 91.43
2. Australia 87.99
3. South Africa 84.34
4. England 82.93
5. Wales 82.62
6. France 82.61
7. Ireland 80.55
8. Argentina 80.28
9. Tonga 76.63
10. Samoa 75.81
11. Scotland 74.69
12. Italy 73.33
13. Canada 72.92
14. Japan 70.45
15. Georgia 70.26
16. Fiji 68.78
17. USA 65.63
18. Romania 64.84
19. Spain 61.54
20. Namibia 61.24 


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