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Ireland Keep Hold Of Fourth Spot In World Rankings

Ireland Keep Hold Of Fourth Spot In World Rankings

Ireland now have a two-point cushion as they sit in fourth place in the World Rugby Rankings, following the weekend’s RBS 6 Nations action in Edinburgh, Dublin and London.

Ireland’s position in the world’s top four came under threat as wins for Wales and France in round 3 of the Championship would have seen Joe Schmidt’s men fall to sixth in the World Rankings.

However, a try from man-of-the-match Conor Murray and 14 points from the respective boots of Jonathan Sexton, including a magnificent drop goal, and Paddy Jackson steered Ireland to a 19-9 victory over France.

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As well as keeping Ireland in contention for the Six Nations title, the result at the Aviva Stadium was an important one in terms of the upcoming Pool Draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup which will take place on Wednesday, May 10 in Kyoto, Japan.

The top 12 teams will be grouped into three bands for the draw as per their World Rankings on that date, while the other eight qualifying teams will be split into a fourth and fifth band. So, as things stand, Ireland will be in Band 1 with defending champions New Zealand, England and Australia.

Nonetheless, Vern Cotter’s Scotland are also staging a late sprint for a top-four placing. They have hit an all-time high of fifth in the rankings thanks to their first triumph over Wales since 2006, gaining 1.28 rating points and three places in the rankings.

In two weeks’ time, the Scots’ Triple Crown clash with England at Twickenham could have a huge impact on their challenge for Six Nations silverware and a higher World Cup seeding.

WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS (as of Monday, February 27):

Last week’s positions in brackets –

1(1) New Zealand 94.78 rating points
2(2) England 91.02
3(3) Australia 86.35
4(4) IRELAND 84.18
5(8) Scotland 82.18
6(6) South Africa 81.79
7(5) Wales 81.16
8(7) France 80.57
9(9) Argentina 79.91
10(10) Fiji 76.46
11(11) Japan 74.22
12(12) Georgia 74.14
13(13) Tonga 71.94
14(14) Italy 71.88
15(15) Samoa 71.25