Rugby

Ireland stay 4th in rankings

2015-02-17 13:19
Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton (AFP)

London - Ireland beat their second 2015 Rugby World Cup opponents in as many matches in the Six Nations but remain fourth in the World Rugby Rankings.

Ireland may have claimed the scalp of their Rugby World Cup opponents France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday but the 18-11 victory was not enough to return them to third place in the latest World Rugby Rankings.

The Irish lost their mantle as the leading northern hemisphere team in the rankings last weekend when, despite victory over Italy in Rome, they were overtaken by RWC 2015 hosts England on the back of their win over Wales in Cardiff.

Ireland’s victory over France - who they will face in Pool D along with Italy, Romania and Canada later this year - has cut the deficit to England to 0.17 rating points ahead of the Six Nations meeting between the two sides in Dublin on March 1.

England were also victorious on Saturday, but the 47-17 win over Italy at Twickenham had no impact on the rating of either side as a result of the 11 places and nearly 15 points separating the two sides in the rankings.

Wales did improve their rating by just over a point on the back of a 26-23 win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday, but they remain sixth and still 1.24 points behind Australia. Their cushion over France, their next opponents, has grown from a few tenths to over 1.6 points.

A second defeat of the Six Nations for Scotland does not see them fall from ninth.

The Springboks remain in second spot on 88.23 ratings points, behind leaders the All Blacks on 93.70.

Top 10 IRB rankings - via the World Rugby website (previous week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1) New Zealand - 93.70

2. (2) South Africa - 88.23

3. (3) England - 85.83

4. (4) Ireland - 85.66

5. (5) Australia - 82.95

6. (6) Wales - 81.71

7. (7)France - 80.09

8. (8) Argentina - 78.23

9. (9) Scotland - 77.11

10. (10) Samoa - 75.39

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