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Final Win Could Boost Irish Ranking

Final Win Could Boost Irish Ranking

A victory for Ireland over England on Saturday would see Declan Kidney’s men finish the RBS 6 Nations on a high and depending on the margin, rise a place or two in the IRB World Rankings.

Eight years ago, England travelled to Dublin on the final weekend of the RBS 6 Nations knowing that a win over Ireland at Lansdowne Road would not only secure the title but also the much-coveted Grand Slam.

The old venue may have been demolished and rebuilt as the Aviva Stadium, but England find themselves in the same position this weekend and will hope to repeat the 42-6 success that day and end their long wait for another title and Grand Slam.

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If England do complete the clean sweep then they cannot lose their mantle as the leading northern Hemisphere nation in the IRB World Rankings, regardless of what happens at the Stade de France between France and Wales.??

Martin Johnson’s charges could actually close to within a single rating point of World champions South Africa above them with a victory by more than 15 points, an outcome which would also see Ireland swap places with Wales below them, even if their Celtic rivals were to lose by a similar margin in France.??

However, if England’s Grand Slam dreams hit the buffers in Dublin then they could lose their fourth spot to Ireland or even Wales, although for this to happen Brian O’Driscoll and his team must record their first Six Nations win at the Aviva Stadium by a margin of more than 15 points.

A smaller margin could still be enough to lift Ireland above a victorious French outfit into fifth, unless les Bleus bounce back from their loss in Rome with a crushing defeat of Wales, in which case the sides would remain where they are. 

Ireland will leapfrog both France and England if they win by more than 15 points to become the top northern Hemisphere nation, regardless of the manner of a French win in Paris.

That is, unless Wales were to beat France emphatically in which case they, not Ireland, would climb to fourth in the IRB World Rankings. A scenario which would see England fall two places to sixth and Les Bleus to seventh.

Wales cannot fall from seventh even with a heavy loss to France, although they would slip closer to Argentina.

The Pumas will also retain eighth spot regardless of whether Scotland can bring Italy back down to earth and pick up their first Six Nations win of 2011.

Italy’s historic first ever Six Nations win over France did not improve their position of 12th, but it has given them the potential to surge as high as ninth with a win of any margin over Scotland at Murrayfield, condemning their hosts, Fiji and Samoa to a one place fall.

IRB WORLD RANKINGS (as of Monday, March 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(4) ENGLAND 83.98
5(5) FRANCE 81.10
6(6) IRELAND 81.02
WALES 80.51
8(8) ARGENTINA 78.97
9(9) SCOTLAND 76.96
10(10) FIJI 74.05
11(11) SAMOA 74.02
12(12) ITALY 73.93