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Irish Remain Fifth In World Rankings

Irish Remain Fifth In World Rankings

On the back of Saturday’s comprehensive defeat of England, Ireland have edged closer to fourth-placed South Africa in the latest IRB-issued World Rankings.

Eddie O’Sullivan’s men are closing in on the Springboks, having dropped back to fifth two weeks ago when they lost to France.

One of the players who faced Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday, Jonny Wilkinson, reckons the men in green are currently one of the top three teams in world rugby, but the England out-half does not place much faith in the rankings system.

“I think Ireland are capable of beating anyone which means they must be in the top three. But for me rugby doesn’t work like that. I don’t believe in world rankings.

“It is down to playing your best in a game and if you are not at your best, you must stay in the game and win it,” he admitted.

In other ranking news, Italy, whom Ireland clash with in Rome on March 17, have broken into the top ten for the first time.

Pierre Berbizier’s side stunned Scotland by scoring three early tries on their way to a 37-17 win at Murrayfield on Saturday. It was the Azzurri’s first ever away in the Six Nations and takes them up to ninth, with the Scots, Ireland’s next opponents, now down in tenth.

Wales, who had a valiant defeat away to France on Saturday night, have risen one place to eighth.

IRB WORLD RANKINGS (As of February 26) –

1(1) New Zealand 94.59 Rating points
2(2) France 87.17
3(3) Australia 85.55
4(4) South Africa 84.71
5(5) IRELAND 84.36
Argentina 79.61
7(7) England 79.11
8(9) Wales 75.74
9(12)Italy 75.31
10(8)Scotland 74.23