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The potential World Ranking consequences of this weekend's Test rugby

By Stefan Frost
Andrew Brace (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

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World Rugby has published the ranking permutations for the second rounds of the Six Nations, a weekend that could see significant change between ranks 7 to 3.

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Ireland are the highest-ranked northern hemisphere side but cannot improve upon third place this weekend. However, a win in Paris by more than 15 points could cut the gap to second placed New Zealand to just 0.16 rating.

England have dropped down to fourth and cannot improve upon that position with victory over Italy, due to the 16.15 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.

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Fifth placed France could drop or surge depending on their weekend showing. Les Bleus will rank higher than Ireland if they win in Paris and would climb another place to third if England also fail to beat Italy. However, a heavy defeat and a win for Scotland could mean France drop as low as seventh.

Right behind France is Scotland, who could slip back to seventh below Australia if they lose by less than 15 points. If they win a second consecutive Six Nations fixture, however, the Scots could reach fifth, equalling their highest ever ranking. Though this would only happen if France also lose.

Wales are currently eighth but could fall to ninth if the above eventuality plays out. To leapfrog Scotland, Wayne Pivac’s team must beat their northern rivals by more than 15 points this weekend. If this were to happen, the two sides would be split by 0.01 of a rating point.

Italy are in 14th and must beat England by more than 15 points to climb above a Georgia side that is victorious in the Netherlands. If Georgia lose, then a smaller margin of victory will be enough for Italy to rank 13th.

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In Rugby Europe, 17th placed Portugal will fall two places if beaten by Romania, three if in tandem with a Spanish victory over Russia. Portugal will climb to a new high of 15th if they beat Romania and will be the higher ranked of the two nations for the first time since November 2005.

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