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Springbok's Nr. 1 spot not in jeopardy

OPINION: South Africa will remain at the top of the world rankings and not even a victory by Ireland this weekend can help them overtake the World Cup-winning Springboks.


World Rugby published the ranking permutations for the second rounds of the Six Nations coming up this weekend which reveals that the South African’s lead is not in jeopardy.

Ireland will gain nothing from beating Italy due to the 16.52 rating point gap between the nations before home weighting is factored in.

Ireland will remain second unless they lose by more than 15 points, a scenario which would see New Zealand climb above them.

Permutation highlights:

  • France can’t climb any higher than fourth this weekend, even with a comprehensive win over Scotland, as they are too far behind New Zealand in third.
  • However, France will be replaced in fourth by England if they lose and England beat Wales at Twickenham.
  • If Scotland wins and England fails to beat Wales, Gregor Townsend’s side will move up to fifth at England’s expense.
  • An historic high of fourth is possible for Scotland if they win by more than 15 points and England fail to win.
  • Any margin of victory for Wales at Twickenham is guaranteed to lift them above Argentina and into seventh place.
  • A draw for Italy in Dublin would see them return to the world’s top 10 – for the first time in more than a decade – at Fiji’s expense, with a win taking them one place further up the rankings to ninth.
  • With no rating points on offer for a win over the Netherlands due to the 17.44 points between the teams, before home weighting is factored in, Georgia will remain in 13th place if they get a positive result.
  • Georgia will slip below Samoa if held to a draw by the Netherlands, who would climb above Brazil into 28th place.
  • A shock win for the Dutch, combined with a Portugal victory against Poland, would send the Lelos tumbling three places to 16th. This would enable Os Lobos to regain one of the three places they lost after defeat to Belgium last weekend.
  • Portugal cannot climb without a Georgian defeat as they are unable to improve their rating as a result of the 19.36 points difference between them and Poland before home weighting is factored in.
  • Spain can’t improve on 19th place this weekend as they are playing Germany, a side 11 points and 13 places lower than them.
  • However, Romania will reclaim that spot from them a week after relinquishing it if they beat Belgium in Bucharest and Los Leones fail to back up last weekend’s narrow victory over the Netherlands with another win.
  • Spain can only drop out of the world’s top 20 if they lose by more than 15 points, a scenario which could see them fall four to 23rd.
  • A defeat by more than 15 points against Belgium will see Romania crash out of the top 20 for the first time since the rankings began in October 2003.
  • A win for Belgium would see them move up another place to 25th having gained three places thanks to their 10-6 win over Portugal last weekend.
  • If the Netherlands can beat Georgia they will reclaim the two places they lost last weekend in defeat to Spain, with a four-place rise possible if the margin is more than 15 points and Belgium doesn’t win in Romania.
  • Poland can climb into the world’s top 30 if they beat Portugal by more than 15 points and Germany doesn’t match that margin. Otherwise, they will climb two places to 31st.
  • A win by more than 15 points for Poland would also see Portugal drop another place, slipping below the USA into 17th.

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