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England face unprecedented World Rugby rankings fall

By Ian Cameron
Henry Slade looks on dejected after the loss to Ireland /PA

France has the chance to reclaim their second-place position in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings this weekend, as the governing body has released the permutations for this weekend’s test rugby.


Out of the top 20 teams, seventeen will be in action, with Georgia, Portugal, and Spain being the exceptions.

Currently, Ireland and New Zealand hold the top two spots in the rankings, but they won’t be able to earn any points in their respective games against Italy and Australia due to the points difference before home weighting is factored in. This presents an opportunity for France to climb up in the rankings if they manage to secure a win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

A victory for France and a draw or loss for Ireland against Italy in Dublin could also propel Les Bleus to the top spot.

In addition to a France victory, South Africa has a chance to become the world’s second-best team. To achieve this, they need to defeat Argentina by more than 15 points at the Vélez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires, while also hoping for losses by Ireland and New Zealand with the same margin.

Elsewhere things could get hairy for Steve Borthwick’s England.

They’ve a chance to replace Scotland in fifth place if they defeat Wales in Cardiff and the Scots fail to secure a win. However, a loss by more than 15 points for England would see them drop to their all-time low ranking of eighth.

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Meanwhile, Wales could equal their lowest-ever ranking of 10th if they lose by more than 15 points. Argentina also has an opportunity to climb as high as fifth place with a significant win against South Africa, but other match results need to favour them as well.


Fiji, having returned to the top 10 after nearly four years, can continue their ascent with a victory against Japan. If they win and Wales loses, Fiji will secure the ninth spot.

Italy, currently outside the top 10, could move up to 11th with a victory and potentially climb even higher if other results go their way. Samoa and Tonga will face off, with the winner gaining a higher rank.

As for the lower rankings, Uruguay cannot improve their 17th position, but the USA has a chance to overtake them if they defeat Romania in Bucharest by more than 15 points. Moreover, if the Eagles win by the same margin, they will move above Portugal, the team that qualified for RWC 2023 at their expense.

Namibia could enter the top 20 if they win by more than 15 points, which would replace Uruguay and move them above Spain.


Overall, this weekend’s Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up matches hold significant potential for rank changes, with France being the main contender to reclaim their second-place standing on the World Rugby rankings.


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Sean 343 days ago

Funny how all those southern hemisphere support slating the northern teams want to join the six nations. Who in the Irish team is a kiwi? And remember that he acknowledged his nationality and lineage in order to play for Ireland. Says a lot for the south.

Warner 343 days ago

South will rise again , rankings mean jack at crunch time , WR and Northern Hemisphere invest billions in their attempt to win RWC is Six Nations stepping stone to RWC victory , I do not think so , if it were why only 1cup.
ABs were beaten in semis 2019 by England who deserved it and played well but to two big games in a row was a road too far. France have never won but appear most consistent RWC team.
As for Irish history will repeat they'll choke under pressure in there pool.
The wreckers could well come for the Pacific Islands they only need win against all odds to ruin pool play.

MA 344 days ago

Poor Conrad got dropped on his head recently. Forgive him for making absolutely absurd comments.

CO 344 days ago

We keep hearing down south how the French and Irish are the two teams that have a hand each on the Webb Ellis but if they're so awesome why is half the Irish team Kiwis? If the French are so awesome what have they won? As a southern hemisphere fan we know the French and Irish can play good footy but we know the English are the team to be most concerned about in the north.

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