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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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The rankings permutations ahead of a massive weekend of rugby

By Kim Ekin
Elrigh Louw of the Springboks during the first test match of the 2022 Castle Lager Incoming Series between South Africa and Wales at Loftus Versfeld on July 02, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

World Rugby’s No.1 rankings could change hands this weekend in Dublin if the Springboks best Andy Farrell’s men in the first of their November Tests.

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Even if they do lose the No.1 spot, it will have been the longest time Ireland have ever spent at the top spot since the rankings began.

Even with a heavy defeat at the Aviva Stadium, Jacques Nienaber’s men can fall no lower than fourth. Likewise, Ireland could drop from first to fourth if they lose by more than 15 points or the All Blacks beat Wales in Cardiff by the same margin if the Irish lose at home.

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NZ are only able to improve their rating by a maximum of one point, while Ireland are guaranteed to stay top of the rankings if they avoid defeat against the Boks. Second place will belong to Ian Foster’s men if they win by more than 15 points and the Springboks lose or draw, or France lose to the Wallabies.

France cannot improve their rating with victory over Australia due to the 7.33 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.

Eddie Jones’ England can only improve on fifth if they beat Los Pumas by more than 15 points and New Zealand slip to defeat in the Welsh capital, a scenario which would see the sides swap places and condemn the All Blacks to equalling their lowest ever position. It is possible for England to climb to third, but this would also require Australia to beat France by more than 15 points. England could fall as low as seventh if they suffer such a heavy loss and the Wallabies win.

Dave Rennie’s men can only build on last weekend’s three-place gain to sixth if they win by more than 15 points and England are beaten by Argentina at Twickenham. If Australia’s margin of victory is smaller than Los Pumas must win by more than 15 points for the Wallabies to climb to fifth Argentina will be the higher ranked of the two nations if they beat England by that margin with a climb of up to three places possible for Los Pumas depending on other results.

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Wayne Pivac’s Wales will climb above a beaten Australia into sixth place if they can end a 69-year wait for victory over New Zealand However, they could drop two places to ninth if beaten, slipping below a defeated Argentina and Scotland side that are victorious against Fiji.

Scotland can only gain a maximum of 0.23 rating points for victory, leaving them relying on other teams losing to improve their position of ninth. Fiji must win by more than 15 points to return to the top 10 for the first time since September 2019, with ninth place possible.

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