Cape Town - Australia’s 26-23 loss to Ireland on
Saturday has seen the Wallabies slip another place to fifth - equalling
their lowest ever position since the world rankings were
introduced in October 2003.
According to the World Rugby website, the Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one
hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to
Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two
northern hemisphere nations with Ireland strengthening their hold on
third place with the win.
?England finally ended a run of five successive defeats - albeit them
all against the top two sides in the world - with a hard-fought 28-9
victory over Samoa, although the win over the 11th ranked team had no
impact on their rating.
The same was true of New Zealand and South Africa after they enjoyed
victories over Wales (34-16) and Italy (22-6) respectively on Saturday.
The All Blacks, who were named World Rugby Team of the Year for the
fifth year in a row after the match, have now sat atop of the rankings
for five years.
Despite the defeat, Wales have climbed one place to sixth as a result
of France’s 18-13 defeat to the lower ranked Argentina at the Stade de
France. The win was not enough to improve Argentina’s ranking of ninth,
but they have closed to within six tenths of Scotland above them.Samoa are another side to improve their position despite suffering a
defeat after Japan slipped one to 11th on the back of a surprise 35-24
loss to Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday, one which ended the Brave
Blossoms’ winning streak at 11 Tests.
Georgia remain 15th after the victory, but now sit less than six
tenths behind Italy and with a little breathing space from USA, who
slipped to a 20-14 loss to Fiji in north-west France on Friday. That win
saw Fiji climb above Tonga after their fellow Pacific Islanders lost
37-12 to Scotland.
The only other positional switches in the top 20 came as a result of
Romania’s 18-9 victory over Canada in Bucharest, the Oaks climbing above
their visitors into 17th to condemn them to their lowest ever position
in the rankings.
Portugal were the final climbers of the weekend after a 29-20 victory
over Rugby World Cup 2015 bound Namibia in Lisbon. Portugal’s victory
sees them swap places with Namibia to occupy 22nd place.
Top 20 in the latest IRB world rankings:
1. New Zealand 93.70
2. South Africa 89.93
3. Ireland 85.48
4. England 84.21
5. Australia 83.59
6. Wales 79.94
7. France 79.66
8. Scotland 78.78
9. Argentina 78.23
10. Samoa 75.39
11. Japan 74.70
12. Fiji 74.57
13. Tonga 74.12
14. Italy 71.19
15. Georgia 70.76
16. USA 67.61
17. Romania 67.38
18. Canada 66.83
19. Russia 64.12
20. Uruguay 63.58