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What needs to happen for Springboks to claim back world No.1 spot

By Kim Ekin

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The Springboks can wrestle back the world No.1 spot this weekend if they manage to defeat old rivals New Zealand in their second Rugby Championship encounter.

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South Africa will return to number one if they beat New Zealand in the Cbus Super Stadium in Queensland on Saturday.

If they fail to do so, the All Blacks will open up a significant gap over the world champions. New Zealand would increase their cushion over South Africa to 4.99 rating points with victory by more than 15 points.

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The good news for them is that neither side can fall lower than second, even if beaten by more than 15 points.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies can’t improve on third place in victory, although the deficit between them and a beaten South Africa could be cut to as little as 1.14 rating points. They currently trail the world champions by 4.11 points.

Australia will slip one or two places in defeat to Los Pumas, depending on the margin, while Mario Ledesma’s side will regain the seventh place they lost to Scotland last weekend if they beat the Wallabies.

Elsewhere, Uruguay will climb above USA if they avoid defeat in the first leg of the Americas 1 qualifier for Rugby World Cup 2023. Los Teros must win by more than 15 points to climb another place to 15th, while defeat will see the Eagles fall two or three places, depending on the margin.

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USA cannot improve on 16th place as even a victory by more than 15 points will leave the Eagles 0.42 rating points behind Tonga, the side immediately above them. Neighbours Canada cannot improve their position even with an emphatic victory over Chile in a two-leg play-off to determine who progresses to the Americas 2 play-off. They will only gain 0.02 points with victory.

However the Canucks will drop below Hong Kong if they draw with Chile and fall two or three places in defeat. A loss by more than 15 points will see Canada equal their lowest position of 24th, which they last occupied in November 2017.

Chile will climb above Belgium into 27th with a draw against hosts Canada. A win would also lift them above Brazil for their highest ranking since February 2018. Chile cannot fall in defeat as they would still have a least a rating point cushion over Switzerland below them.

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What needs to happen for Springboks to claim back world No.1 spot

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