5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland U19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday 14th December has been announced.
With champions France losing 24-18 to Wales in Paris on Saturday, and Eddie O'Sullivan's men claiming back-to-back Championship wins over the World champions, the Irish are now ranked as the leading side in the Northern Hemisphere.
O'Sullivan's charges have won ten games and lost three - since bowing out of the 2003 Rugby World Cup to France, 43-21.
The new IRB Rankings, released today, see France and Ireland swap places in fourth and fifth, less than a fortnight ahead of their Six Nations meeting in Dublin.
England and Wales remain in sixth and seventh, with Scotland's 18-10 win over Italy - coach Matt Williams' first Championship success since taking over last year - seeing them rise above Fiji, and into ninth.
NEW IRB WORLD RANKINGS: Released Monday, February 28:
(1) New Zealand 90.90 Ranking points (2) Australia 88.58 (3) South Africa 85.78 (4) Ireland 84.30 (5) France 83.27 (6) England 82.81 (7) Wales 81.43 (8) Argentina 77.63 (9) Scotland 74.37 (10) Fiji 74.17