Ireland are sixth in the latest IRB World Rankings after the second round of matches in the RBS 6 Nations Championship. France’s victory at the Aviva Stadium has moved them up to fourth place.
Declan Kidney’s men came into the Six Nations as the fifth-ranked team in world rugby, but dropped a place last week due to France’s win over Scotland.
England may have enjoyed the most emphatic victory in the second round of Six Nations matches, but it is France who take over fourth spot in the latest IRB World Rankings on the back of a 25-22 defeat of Ireland on Sunday.
France’s success against the sixth-ranked side in the world improved their rating by almost 1.3 points, enabling them to climb above England, whose 59-13 defeat of 12th ranked Italy had no impact on their own rating.
Defending champions France are now the leading northern Hemisphere nation in the rankings, almost four tenths above England, the side they meet at Twickenham in two weeks’ time.
Ireland remain sixth despite losing a game in which they outscored the French by three tries to one, although the same cannot be said for the final losing side in the Championship with Scotland falling two places to ninth after their 24-6 defeat by Wales.
Wales’ win at Murrayfield ended a run of eight Tests without a victory dating back to March 2010 and brought them to within a tenth of Argentina above them, as both sides enjoy a one place gain at the expense of Scotland.
IRB WORLD RANKINGS (as of Monday, February 14):
Last week’s positions in brackets –
1(1) NEW ZEALAND 93.19 rating points
2(2) AUSTRALIA 87.45
3(3) SOUTH AFRICA 86.44
4(5) FRANCE 83.61
5(4) ENGLAND 83.24
6(6) IRELAND 80.95
7(8) ARGENTINA 78.97
8(9) WALES 78.88
9(7) SCOTLAND 77.96
10(10) FIJI 74.05