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France Climb Above Ireland In World Rankings

France Climb Above Ireland In World Rankings

Next Saturday’s Six Nations title decider in Paris will be a battle between the fifth and sixth ranked teams in the world, following the latest update of the IRB World Rankings.

France’s late escape against Scotland at Murrayfield has seen them return to fifth in the latest IRB World Rankings, regaining the two places they lost after their round 3 defeat by Wales.

Only 0.16 points had separated Ireland in fifth from France in seventh going into the penultimate round of matches, but the 19-17 victory – secured by Jean-Marc Doussain’s late penalty – away from home lifts les Bleus above both the Irish and Wales.

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Ireland were also victorious, running out emphatic 46-7 winners over Italy in Brian O’Driscoll’s final match on home soil.

However, this had no impact on their rating as visitors Italy were ranked nine places and more than eight points below them.

Joe Schmidt’s men now trail France by just under seven tenths with Wales only 0.38 adrift of them after slipping one place following their 29-18 loss to England at Twickenham – a loss that ends hopes of a third successive Six Nations title.

England, who claimed their first Triple Crown since 2011 as a result of the round 4 triumph, remain the leading northern Hemisphere nation in the rankings in fourth and fractionally reduce the deficit to Australia above them.

IRB WORLD RANKINGS (as of Monday, March 10):

Last week’s positions in brackets –

1(1) New Zealand 93.81 rating points
2(2) South Africa 89.34
3(3) Australia 86.88
4(4) England 85.68
5(7) France 81.44
6(5) IRELAND 80.76
Wales 80.38
8(8) Samoa 77.34
9(9) Argentina 76.44
10(10) Scotland 75.47
11(11) Fiji 74.21
12(12) Tonga 73.21
13(13) Japan 72.06
14(14) Italy 72.05
15(15) Canada 70.75