World Rugby Rankings: Springboks remain top as Ireland rise
2 weeks ago
The latest World Rugby Rankings update sees little movement at the top but Georgia now outrank Six Nations team Italy.
The Springboks won’t play another Test until the visits of Scotland and Georgia in July, but with the Six Nations in full swing there have been changes to the World Rugby Rankings.
Springboks still top World Rugby Rankings
The World Champion Springboks remain at the top of the rankings ahead of the All Blacks in second. England lost ground on the southern powers when they went down to France in the opening round of the Six Nations, but they are comfortably third.
Ireland’s victory over Wales means they leapfrog the Dragons into fourth place on the standings. France have closed the gap between themselves and the top five with wins over England and Italy, while Australia and Japan round out the top eight sides in the World Rugby Rankings.
Italy’s place in the Six Nations is once again under the microscope after a poor start. The Azurri were blown away 42-0 by Wales in the first week of the tournament before improving in a 35-22 loss to France in Paris. The second loss may not have cost Italy any rankings points, but Georgia’s Lelos have overtaken them.
Rugby Europe Championship throws up some upsets
Georgia top second-tier competition, the Rugby Europe Championship, after two weeks while Russia and Romania suffered upset defeats.
Russia succumbed to a 38-12 defeat to Belgium in Brussels this weekend, while Romania went down 22-11 to newly-promoted Portugal in Lisbon.
Georgia occupy 12th spot on the rankings while Italy now hold 13th. The Azurri will host ninth-ranked Scotland on 22 February in their next assignment.
Portugal’s first win over Romania in seven attempts saw them pick up 1.22 points, enough for them to move into the world’s top 20 for the first time since November 2011. Portugal are the World Rugby Rankings biggest movers this week.
Russia’s defeat to Belgium sees them tumble five places on the rankings to 25th in the world.