A world rankings shake-up could be on the cards in men’s international rugby this weekend, and the All Blacks could face the biggest drop.
Currently sitting atop the rankings, where they have been since late 2009, a loss to the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday night would see an end to their reign at the top.
If the All Blacks lose, they’ll fall to fourth in the world while a loss by 16 points or more will see them plummet to sixth. Both would be an all-time low ranking for the national side, who have only ever fallen as low as third on the world rankings. However, should they lose and Wales beat England on Sunday morning (NZ time), or England win by 16 points or more, the All Blacks would only drop to third.
If the Wallabies were able to end their 33-year drought at Eden Park, either Ireland, England or Wales would move to the top of the rankings.
In that situation, a win over England by any margin would lift Wales to the top of the rankings for the first time in the union’s history, while a 16-point win over Wales would give England their second reign at the top of the heap. Should the two sides draw, Ireland would take the top spot.
Should the All Blacks beat the wallabies, Wales and England could still take over at the top.
If the All Blacks win and Wales win by any margin, Wales will dethrone the New Zealand side. If the All Blacks win by any margin and England win by 16 points or more, England will dethrone the All Blacks.
The New Zealand side will run out a new look squad to the one who were hammered by the Wallabies in Perth last time out, with Ben Smith, Rieko Ioane and Owen Franks all dropped from the side. They were the main changes of the eight made to Steve Hansen’s squad as the pressure is on to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
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