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Ireland Strengthen Hold On Third Place Ranking

Ireland Strengthen Hold On Third Place Ranking

Ireland tightened their grip on third place in the World Rugby Rankings courtesy of Saturday’s 26-23 GUINNESS Series victory over Australia, who have slipped to fifth overall.

Australia’s defeat at the Aviva Stadium has seen them fall another place this week to fifth – equalling their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.

The Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one-hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two northern Hemisphere nations – England (fourth) and Six Nations champions Ireland (third)

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?England finally ended a run of five successive defeats – albeit with them all against the top two sides in the world – with a hard-fought 28-9 victory over Samoa, although the win over the 11th-ranked team had no impact on their rating points.

The same was true of New Zealand and South Africa after they enjoyed victories over Wales (34-16) and Italy (22-6) respectively on Saturday. The All Blacks, who were named World Rugby Team of the Year for the fifth year in a row after the match, have now led the rankings for five years.

Despite the defeat, Wales have climbed one place to sixth as a result of France’s 18-13 defeat to the lower-ranked Argentina at the Stade de France. The triumph was not enough to improve Argentina’s ranking of ninth, but they have closed to within six tenths of Scotland above them.

Samoa are another side to improve their position despite suffering a defeat after Japan slipped one to 11th on the back of a surprise 35-24 loss to Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday, one which ended the Brave Blossoms’ 11-Test winning streak.

Georgia remain 15th after the victory, but now sit less than six tenths behind Italy and with a little breathing space from USA, who slipped to a 20-14 loss to Fiji in north west France on Friday. That win saw Fiji climb above Tonga after their fellow Pacific Islanders lost 37-12 to Scotland.

The only other positional switches in the top 20 came as a result of Romania’s 18-9 success against Canada in Bucharest, the Oaks climbing above their visitors into 17th to condemn them to their lowest ever position in the rankings.

WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS (as of Monday, November 24):

Last week’s positions in brackets –

1(1) New Zealand 93.70 rating points
2(2) South Africa 89.93
3(3) IRELAND 85.48
England 84.21
5(4) Australia 83.59
6(7) Wales 79.94
7(6) France 79.66
8(8) Scotland 78.78
9(9) Argentina 78.23
10(11) Samoa 75.39
11(10) Japan 74.70
12(13) Fiji 74.57
13(12) Tonga 74.12
14(14) Italy 71.19
15(15) Georgia 70.76
16(16) USA 67.61
17(18) Romania 67.38
18(17) Canada 66.83
19(19) Russia 64.12
20(20) Uruguay 63.58