10 Dec, 10:30
The IRFU and Munster are pleased to announce that Conor Murray has signed a new two year contract with the IRFU which will see him remain at Munster until at least June 2016.
The IRB World Rankings will determine the seeding for the 12 directly-qualified teams for the next World Cup in England, which is now 1040 days away.
The top band of teams - ranked one to four - will be kept apart in the pool stages. With Ireland currently ranked eighth, they would be in the second band of seeds for the draw.
But if Declan Kidney's men slip out of the world's top eight, they would be drawn from band number 3 and likely to get a much tougher draw.
Saturday's 16-12 defeat to South Africa, coupled with Argentina's achievement in beating Wales 26-12 in Cardiff, means that the Pumas have moved into seventh above Ireland in the latest rankings list.
That means that the sides' GUINNESS Series clash at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 24 could be hugely important in determining what seeding they take up for next month's World Cup draw.
As they stand following the opening November Test matches, the pool allocation draw seedings would be:
Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Wales, Argentina, Ireland
Band 3: Scotland, Samoa, Italy, Tonga
Ireland, Argentina and Wales are all in a battle for ranking places five to eighth, with Scotland, who lost to World Cup champions New Zealand yeserday, holding onto ninth spot.
France's 33-6 win at home to Australia has moved them back into the world's top four at the expense of England, while the Wallabies have lost their grip on second place with South Africa taking advantage.
The Springboks are now ranked second in the world after coming from behind to beat Ireland with 13 unanswered points in the second half.
Second half tries by Juan Imhoff and Gonzalo Camacho helped Argentina overcome Grand Slam winners Wales for only their second ever win on Welsh soil - their previous victory being 11 years ago to the day.
Scotland's failure to record their first- ever triumph over New Zealand - the All Blacks triumphing 51-22 in Edinburgh - leaves their rating points unchanged on 77.97, but they are little more than one ranking point behind Ireland.
Ireland were faced with a similar task four years ago in Kidney's first season in charge. They produced a 17-3 win over Argentina on a chilly November day in Dublin to confirm their eighth place ranking for the 2011 World Cup draw.
IRB WORLD RANKINGS (as of Monday, November 12):
Last week's positions in brackets -
1(1) New Zealand 92.91 rating points
2(3) South Africa 85.50
3(2) Australia 84.82
4(5) France 84.58
5(4) England 83.09
6(6) Wales 80.60
7(8) Argentina 80.29
8(7) IRELAND 79.04
9(9) Scotland 77.97
10(10) Samoa 77.14
11(11) Italy 76.61
12(12) Tonga 74.22