Rankings: Boks could slip to fifth

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The Springboks pose for a team photo
  • Post published:July 15, 2022

Ireland can overtake France at the top of the World Rugby Rankings while a loss for the Springboks could relegate the world champions to fifth place.

Ireland will be eager to take advantage of France not being in action this weekend and replace first-placed Les Bleus when they face New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday. France moved to number one for the first time in history last week following their victory over Japan and defeats for South Africa, the previous occupants, and the All Blacks.

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But their stay at the top of the rankings could be short-lived as a second consecutive win for Ireland against the All Blacks would earn see them overtake Les Bleus.

No team other than Ireland can catch France at the top of the rankings this weekend.

A win of any sort would also see Ireland break the 90-rating point mark for the first time since the rankings began in October 2003, taking them past France’s total of 89.41.

Ireland have sat atop the rankings once before, for two weeks in September 2019, but to do it again on the back of a series win in New Zealand would make this time all the more special.

Victory for New Zealand will see them swap places with Ireland and ensure their current stay at fourth – their lowest ever ranking – only lasts a week.

However, the All Blacks could drop to a new low of fifth if they lose by more than 15 points, depending on the results in South Africa and Australia.

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A win for South Africa over Wales would be fitting on the occasion of Springbok legend Eben Etzebeth’s 100th cap, but it wouldn’t result in any additional rating points being added to their total due to the 7.33 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in. This means they cannot improve on third place.

Should Wales back up their nail-biting 13-12 win in Bloemfontein last week with victory in Cape Town, a climb of two to three places is possible depending on the margin of victory and the outcome of the matches between Australia and England and Argentina and Scotland.

If the Springboks are beaten heavily and end up losing the series 2-1, they could drop another two places into fifth, but only if they lose by more than 15 points against Wales, and results in Australia and New Zealand also go against them.

World Rugby rankings

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