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Los Pumas have it all to play for in the World Ranking

By Ian Cameron

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Los Pumas could jump as high as third in the World Rankings if they manage to beat South Africa well in their second Test in Port Elizabeth this weekend.


The cancellation of New Zealand’s Rugby Championship match with Australia in Perth makes the fixture at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium the only major rankings modifier this weekend.

World Rugby state: “Argentina will climb two places to fourth with victory over South Africa, above Ireland and France.

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explains the implications of the strict COVID requirements in Australasia
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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explains the implications of the strict COVID requirements in Australasia

If they beat the Springboks by more than 15 points, Los Pumas would jump to third – equalling their highest ever position in the rankings. The last time Argentina sat this high was in June, 2008. Mario Ledesma’s side will climb above France and into fifth if they draw for the fourth time in less than a year, while they will slip back below Australia into seventh in defeat.

How likely an Argentine victory is – given the Springboks beat them 32 – 12 with a second-string team last weekend – is up for debate.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty much as you were for South Africa, no matter what the outcome of the result.

“South Africa cannot lose top spot even with such an emphatic defeat as they would still hold a 2.20 rating point cushion over New Zealand. Their advantage is currently 4.91.”


“South Africa can only improve their rating by a maximum of 0.29 rating points, given the 11.05 rating point difference between the sides before home weighting is factored in for Argentina.”

Two of Argentina’s Olympic bronze medallists from Tokyo 2020 last month have been named in the squad in Ignacio Mendy and Lucio Cinti. Mendy scored the winning try against Great Britain in the bronze medal match and now follows in the footsteps of his father Christian, who played for Los Pumas from 1987-91.

Lood de Jager becomes the fourth Springbok to reach 50 tests in 2021 after Handré Pollard, Steven Kitshoff and Damian de Allende during the British and Irish Lions series.

SA Rugby have offered to host the entirety of the rest of the Rugby Championship after the NZR unilaterally decided to suspend their involvement in the annual tournament.


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