Explained: World Rugby Rankings

Explained: World Rugby Rankings

The men’s and women’s World Rugby Rankings are calculated using a points exchange system, in which sides take points off each other based on the match result.

Whatever one side gains, the other loses.




The exchanges are based on the match result, the relative strength of each team and the margin of victory (15 points or less / more than 15 points), and there is an allowance for home advantage.



Any match that is not a full international between two World Rugby full member unions does not count towards the rankings, e.g. the British and Irish Lions test against Japan.


STATS ON WORLD RUGBY MEN’S RANKINGS


Spain must beat Romania by more than 15 points to become the higher ranked of the two nations as a smaller margin will leave them 0.02 rating points behind
In this event, the sides will swap places with Spain taking over 15th – their highest ever ranking – and Romania falling to 17th
Romania will drop below Tonga if beaten by Spain
Spain will fall at least two places to 19th – below USA and Uruguay – in defeat, three if Portugal also beat the Netherlands
Romania cannot improve on 15th place even with victory by more than 15 points, but would close to 0.32 rating points of Italy above
Portugal cannot improve their rating with victory over the Netherlands due to the 9.42 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in
The Netherlands will climb above Russia in victory but must win by more than 15 points to also leapfrog Namibia
Scotland will climb above Australia into sixth with victory over France and would equal their high of fifth if Ireland also lose to Italy
However, they could drop as low as eighth in defeat depending on other results
France can end the weekend in third if they win and England fail to beat Wales
England will surrender third place if they fail to beat Wales and either France avoid defeat against Scotland or Ireland beat Italy
Wales will climb two places to sixth if they beat England and Scotland lose to France. In that scenario England would drop to fifth
Wales will be the higher ranked of the two nations if they win by more than 15 points
Wales can climb as high as fifth if they beat England by more than 15 points and there are draws in the other two Six Nations fixtures. Third or fourth is possible, depending on their margin of victory and other results
England could drop as low as seventh if a loss by more than 15 points is combined with a Scottish victory over France
Ireland cannot improve their rating with victory over Italy due to the 15.49 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in
However, a victorious Ireland will climb above a France side beaten in Scotland
Italy must win by more than 15 points to climb above Georgia into 13th


RUGBY EUROPE CHAMPIONSHIP 2022



PORTUGAL (20) 66.24 v NETHERLANDS (26) 56.82

Portugal win by 15 points or less – Portugal 66.24, Netherlands 56.82 (No change)
Portugal win by more than 15 points – Portugal 66.24, Netherlands 56.82 (No change)
Draw – Portugal 65.24, Netherlands 57.82
Netherlands win by 15 points or less – Portugal 64.24, Netherlands 58.82
Netherlands win by more than 15 points – Portugal 63.24, Netherlands 59.82


SPAIN (17) 66.74 v ROMANIA (15) 68.50



Spain win by 15 points or less – Spain 67.61, Romania 67.63
Spain win by more than 15 points – Spain 68.05, Romania 67.19
Draw – Spain 66.61, Romania 68.63
Romania win by 15 points or less – Spain 65.61, Romania 69.63
Romania win by more than 15 points – Spain 65.05, Romania 70.19

SIX NATIONS 2022

SCOTLAND (7) 83.23 v FRANCE (4) 86.36



Scotland win by 15 points or less – Scotland 84.25, France 85.35
Scotland win by more than 15 points – Scotland 84.75, France 84.84
Draw – Scotland 83.25, France 86.35
France win by 15 points or less – Scotland 82.25, France 87.35
France win by more than 15 points – Scotland 81.75, France 87.84

ENGLAND (3) 86.66 v WALES (8) 82.25



England win by 15 points or less – England 86.92, Wales 81.99
England win by more than 15 points – England 87.05, Wales 81.86
Draw – England 85.92, Wales 82.99
Wales win by 15 points or less – England 84.92, Wales 83.99
Wales win by more than 15 points – England 84.05, Wales 84.86

IRELAND (5) 86.00 v ITALY (14) 70.51


Ireland win by 15 points or less – Ireland 86.00, Italy 70.51 (No change)
Ireland win by more than 15 points – Ireland 86.00, Italy 70.51 (No change)
Draw – Ireland 85.00, Italy 71.51
Italy win by 15 points or less – Ireland 84.00, Italy 72.51
Italy win by more than 15 points – Ireland 83.00, Italy 73.51

RUGBY EUROPE CHAMPIONSHIP 2022 – SATURDAY, 26 FEBRUARY


The Rugby Europe Championship 2021 and 2022 will determine the Europe 1 and Europe 2 qualifiers for France 2023. The third-ranked team will enter the Final Qualification Tournament alongside a side from Africa, the Americas and Asia/Pacific. Georgia lead the race to France 2023 with 31 points, nine more than Romania with Spain (21) and Portugal (16) still in contention. Russia lie fifth on 10 points with the Netherlands yet to record a point on their return to the top tier of Rugby Europe competition after losing all seven matches. Georgia’s match with Russia – due to be played on Sunday in Tbilisi – has been cancelled by Rugby Europe.

PORTUGAL v NETHERLANDS – CAR RUGBY DO JAMOR, LISBON – KO 15:00 GMT



Head-to-head


Played: 16 – Portugal leads 12-3 with one draw
Points for: Portugal 370 / Netherlands 196 / (avg. score: 23-12)
Highest score: Portugal 61 (61-28 on 10 July, 2021) / Netherlands 32 (32-3 on 7 October, 1939)
Biggest winning margin: Portugal 33 (61-28 on 10 July, 2021) / Netherlands 29 (32-3 on 7 October,
1939)

First met: 5 April, 1970 – Netherlands 9-9 Portugal – Hilversum
Last met: 10 July, 2021 – Portugal 61-28 Netherlands – National Rugby Centre Amsterdam


Referee: Federico Vedovelli (Italy)



This will be referee Federico Vedovelli’s first Rugby Europe Championship match as referee
He has refereed Portugal once before, their 33-13 win over Brazil in November 2020
Portugal have a record of drawn one, lost one in the 2022 Championship after ending Georgia’s 20-match winning run in the competition with a 25-25 draw in round one before losing 37-27 to Romania a week later
Portugal led 27-13 with 50 minutes gone against Romania but conceded 24 unanswered points to miss out on even a losing bonus point
The Netherlands have suffered defeats against Spain (43-0) and Georgia (72-10)
They are yet to win on their return to the Rugby Europe Championship, having lost all seven matches across 2021 and 2022
Portugal have won their last six meetings with the Netherlands
The Netherlands last tasted victory against Portugal in April 2000, 13-11 in Amsterdam
The last meeting between the sides in July 2021 saw Portugal post their highest ever score (61) and biggest winning margin (33)
Rafaele Storti scored five tries in that match with his fellow winger Rodrigo Marta crossing for a hat-trick himself. Hooker Mike Tadjer scored the first of Portugal’s nine tries
Scrum-half Samuel Marques converted eight of the nine tries against the Dutch – beating the previous Portuguese record of six in a match
The Netherlands’ tries were scored by Te Campbell (2), Bart Wierenga and Jordy Hop with David Weersma converting all four
The 28 points was the second highest tally for the Dutch against Portugal, falling short of the 32 they scored in victory in October 1989
The only other time they have scored more than 20 points in the fixture was a 23-17 win in April 1989
Portugal have won all five previous meetings on home soil – the most recent 36-12 in the Rugby Europe Trophy in February 2018

RUGBY EUROPE CHAMPIONSHIP 2022 – SUNDAY, 27 FEBRUARY



SPAIN v ROMANIA – ESTADIO NACIONAL UNIVERSIDAD COMPLUTENSE, MADRID –
KO 12:45 (11:45 GMT)


Head-to-head
Played: 39 – Romania leads 35-4
Points for: Spain 398 / Romania 1,103 (avg. score: Spain 10-28 Romania)
Highest points: Spain 22 (22-10 on 18 February, 2018) / Romania 74 (74-3 on 16 April, 1978)
Biggest winning margin: Spain 12 (22-10 on 18 February, 2018) / Romania 71 (74-3 on 16 April, 1978)
First met: 1 May, 1958 – Romania 14-12 Spain – Liege, Belgium
Last met: 20 March, 2021 – Romania 22-16 Spain – Complexul Sportiv Ghencea, Bucharest
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
The match will be streamed live on Rugby Europe TV


Referee Sam Grove-White will take charge of his third Rugby Europe Championship match, having been in the middle for Romania’s 62-12 win over Belgium in 2018 and Portugal’s 23- 17 win over the same opponents in 2020
Grove-White was on the men’s panel for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, taking charge of three men’s matches including the South Africa v USA fifth place play-off
The Rugby Europe Championship 2021 and 2022 will determine the Europe 1 and Europe 2 qualifiers for France 2023. The third-ranked team will enter the Final Qualification Tournament alongside a side from Africa, the Americas and Asia/Pacific
Georgia lead the race to France 2023 with 31 points, nine more than Romania with Spain (21) and Portugal (16) still in contention
Russia lie fifth on 10 points with the Netherlands yet to record a point on their return to the top tier of Rugby Europe competition after losing all seven matches
Both sides are unbeaten in the Rugby Europe Championship 2022 with Spain topping the standings after two rounds with nine points, one more than Romania
Spain have beaten the Netherlands (43-0) and Russia (41-37) and still have to face neighbours Portugal and Georgia
Romania have beaten Russia 34-25 and Portugal 37-27, recovering from 27-13 down to beat Os Lobos last weekend. They still have to face Georgia and the Netherlands
This will be Romania’s first match on the road in the 2022 Championship after two matches at the Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest
With only a point separating the teams in the race to RWC 2023, this match is a must-win for both sides to continue their momentum as they target a direct qualification spot
Romania are bidding to return to the Rugby World Cup stage after failing to qualify in 2019 for the first time in the tournament’s history
Spain are looking to reach a second Rugby World Cup, having made their debut in 1999
Romania have won their last five test matches (29-14 v Uruguay, 56-15 v Netherlands, 32-20 v Tonga, 34-25 v Russia and 37-27 v Portugal)
Coach Andy Robinson has a W9, L6 record in charge of Romania
Romania have won their last two meetings with Spain and 12 of their last 15 matches
Spain’s three victories in this run were all at this venue, the most recent a 21-18 success in March 2019
All four of Spain’s wins in the head-to-head have come on home soil in Madrid – in 1992,
2012, 2018 and 2019
Romania won their first 13 meetings with Spain and then 14 in a row between Los Leones’ victories in 1992 and 2012

Their last meeting in March 2021 saw Romania come from behind to win 22-16 in Bucharest, Ionel Melinte’s try 11 minutes from time giving his side the decisive lead and they held on despite losing Ovidiu Cojocaru to the sin-bin in the 75th minute

The match-day squads will be named on Friday

SIX NATIONS 2022 – SATURDAY, 26 FEBRUARY

SCOTLAND v FRANCE – MURRAYFIELD, EDINBURGH – KO 14:15 GMT
Head-to-head
Played: 98 – France leads 56-39 with three draws
Points for: Scotland 1,250 / France 1,463 (avg. score: 12-14)
Highest score: Scotland 36 (36-22 on 10 April, 1999) / France 51 (51-16 on 21 February, 1998 and 51-9 on 25 October, 2003)
Biggest winning margin: Scotland 28 (31-3 on 20 January, 1912) / France 42 (51-9 on 25 October, 2003)
First met: 22 January, 1910 – Scotland 27-0 France – Inverleith, Edinburgh
Last met: 26 March, 2021 – Scotland 27-23 France – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Referee: Karl Dickson (England) PROFILE >>
Debut: 17 November, 2018 - Georgia 27-19 Samoa
Tests as referee: 6
Six Nations debut: N/A


Referee Karl Dickson will make his Six Nations debut at Murrayfield this weekend
Dickson will take charge of Scotland for the first time, having refereed France once before with their 38-21 win against Wales in October 2021
Scotland won in France for the first time in the Six Nations era in 2021, ending a 22-year wait for a victory after their 36-22 win in their Five Nations title-winning season of 1999
That victory meant Scotland won away in both England and France in the same Championship for the first time since 1926
Scotland have beaten France in the last two Six Nations Championships, winning 27-23 in Paris in 2021 and 28-17 in Edinburgh in 2020
They have won their last three Six Nations meetings in Edinburgh
The teams have met six times since the start of 2019 with three wins apiece
Les Bleus won on their last visit to Murrayfield, triumphing 22-15 in the Autumn Nations Cup in 2020
Their last Six Nations victory at Murrayfield was 19-17 in March 2014
France are the only team capable of winning a Grand Slam in 2022 after beating Italy (37- 10) and Ireland (30-24) to date
Scotland beat England in round one before losing 20-17 to Wales
France full-back Melvyn Jaminet is the joint top point scorer after round two with 30 alongside England fly-half Marcus Smith
France winger Gabin Villière is the top try-scorer with three, having become the first French player to score a Six Nations hat-trick since Vincent Clerc’s treble against Ireland in 2008 with his haul against Italy in round one
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg will face France for a record 13th time this weekend, moving clear of Chris Paterson, Jim Renwick and Ross Ford on 12. Hogg’s first start was against France in February 2012
France need one penalty to bring up 150 against Scotland (156)
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made three personnel and one positional change to his forward pack from the Wales defeat, but the backline remains unchanged
Zander Fagerson returns to the front row alongside Pierre Schoeman and Stuart McInally
Sam Skinner shifts into the second row in place of the injured Jonny Gray
The vacated blindside spot is filled by Rory Darge, who is handed his first start after making his debut off the bench in Cardiff
The final change sees Magnus Bradbury named at number eight

Mark Bennett returns to the Scotland bench for the first time since the 30-29 loss to USA in June 2018
Replacements Oli Kebble, Jamie Hodgson and Nick Haining could all make their first appearances of the Championship
Fourteen of Scotland’s starting line-up have graduated from the World Rugby U20 Championship, the exception being centre Chris Harris
France coach Fabien Galthié has made one personnel and one positional change to his starting line-up to face Scotland, both in the backline
Yoram Moefana shifts from inside centre to the left wing in place of the injured Villière
Jonathan Danty returns from injury to fill the vacated spot alongside Gaël Fickou in the centres after missing the Ireland match
Galthié has also retained the same eight replacements for the trip to Scotland
There are a total of 499 caps in the Scotland starting line-up, split 226 in the forwards and 273 in the backs
This compares to 367 caps for France, split 183 in the forwards and 184 in the backs

ENGLAND v WALES – TWICKENHAM STADIUM, LONDON – KO 16:45 GMT


Head-to-head
Played: 137 – England leads 65-60 with 12 draws
Points for: England 1,839 / Wales 1,676 (avg. score: 13-12)
Highest score: England 62 (62-5 on 4 August, 2007) / Wales 40 (40-24 on 27 February, 2021)
Biggest winning margin: England 57 (62-5 on 4 August, 2007) / Wales 27 (30-3 on 16 March, 2016)
First meeting: 16 February, 1875 – England* 0-0 Wales – Rectory Field, Blackheath
Last meeting: 27 February, 2021 – Wales 40-24 England – Principality Stadium, Cardiff
* England won by eight goals to nil
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland) PROFILE >>
Debut: 18 November, 2017 - Romania 17-13 Samoa
Tests as referee: 9
Six Nations debut: 13 February, 2021 – England 41-18 Italy
Six Nations tests as referee: 2
Referee Mike Adamson is one of two officials to take charge of two matches in the 2022 Championship alongside Jaco Peyper. He also refereed France v Italy in round one
This will be second time he referees these sides, having taken charge of England v Italy on his Six Nations debut and Wales in their 29-28 victory over Australia in November
Adamson became the first Scottish male to referee in the Six Nations for 19 years – since Rob Dickson in 2002 – with his debut in 2021
England have lost their opening match for the third Six Nations in a row
England bounced back from losing to Scotland (20-17) by beating Italy 33-0 in round two
The Italy result was the first time that England had kept a team to nil since they defeated Georgia 30-0 in the Autumn Nations Cup in November 2020
Wales lost their opening match 29-7 to Ireland in Dublin before beating Scotland 20-17 in round two
Wales’ 40 points in their last meeting with England is the most scored in a match, surpassing the 34 in a 34-21 victory in April 1967
Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Kieran Hardy and Cory Hill scored Wales’ four tries in that victory with Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs crossing for England
England need three penalties to reach 200 in tests against Wales (163)
Both teams have kicked 29 drop goals in this head-to-head in test rugby
This will be the 56th meeting between the sides at Twickenham Stadium, having met for the first time at the venue in January 1910
England have won their last five matches with Wales at Twickenham, dating back to the 28-25 defeat in the RWC 2015 pool stage
Wales’ last Six Nations victory at Twickenham was 19-12 on 25 February, 2012
Dan Biggar holds the Welsh record for most points in a match against England with 23 in the 28-25 victory at Rugby World Cup 2015
Biggar and Taulupe Faletau have the most appearances against England among the current Wales squad with 13, one more than Jonathan Davies
Alun Wyn Jones holds the record with 23 but he will be absent from a Welsh line-up against England for the first time since March 2007. Jones has won 10 and lost 13 of these matches but never scored a try against England
Ben Youngs could face Wales for a record 15th time, the scrum-half currently shares the English record with Rory Underwood
Youngs could become England’s most-capped men’s player in his own right this weekend, having drawn level on 114 caps with Jason Leonard against Italy in round two
England have won nine of their last 13 meetings with Wales

England fly-half Marcus Smith is the joint top point scorer after round two with 30 alongside France full-back Melvyn Jaminet
Smith has scored 60 per cent of England’s points in this year’s Championship, with two tries included in his tally
England coach Eddie Jones had made four personnel and two positional changes to his starting line-up from the win over Italy
Courtney Lawes will make his first start of the Championship at blindside flanker and takes over the captaincy, having led England against Tonga and South Africa last November
The return of Lawes sees Maro Itoje return to the second row to partner Charlie Ewels
Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and Kyle Sinckler are promoted from the bench to start alongside Ellis Genge in the front row
Sinckler will play his 50th test for England, having made his debut against South Africa in 2016
Manu Tuilagi had been named at inside centre for his first appearance of the Championship but was then ruled out with a hamstring injury. England will confirm his replacement on match-day. Henry Slade had been moved out on one place to outside centre
Ben Youngs could become England’s most-capped men’s player in his own right if called upon from the bench, having joined Jason Leonard on 114 caps for his country in Italy
His Leicester Tigers team-mate George Ford could win his 80th England cap off the bench
Wales coach Wayne Pivac has made two personnel and two positional changes to his starting line-up from the Scotland match
Taulupe Faletau comes in at number eight having called into the squad earlier this week with Ross Moriarty shifting to blindside and Taine Basham back to openside
Faletau last featured for Wales against France in the 2021 Six Nations
The only change to the backline sees Josh Adams return from injury to replace Louis Rees- Zammit, who drops out of the squad
Alex Cuthbert will play his 50th test for Wales on the right wing
There are four changes to the bench with prop Leon Brown, back-row Jac Morgan and half- backs Kieran Hardy and Gareth Anscombe coming in
Anscombe last played in the Six Nations in March 2019 in the 25-7 win against Ireland
There are a total of 654 caps in the Welsh starting line-up, split 319 in the forwards and 336
in the backs

SIX NATIONS 2022 – SUNDAY, 27 FEBRUARY
IRELAND v ITALY – AVIVA STADIUM, DUBLIN – KO 15:00 GMT

Head-to-head
Played 33 – Ireland leads 29-4
Points for: Ireland 1,172 / Italy 495 (avg. score: 35-14)
Highest score: Ireland 63 (63-10 on 11 February, 2017) / Italy 37 (37-22 on 20 December, 1997 and 37-
29 on 4 January, 1997)
Biggest winning margin: Ireland 56 (61-6 on 30 August, 2003) / Italy 15 (37-22 on 20 December,
1997)



First met: 31 December, 1988 – Ireland 31-15 Italy – Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Last met: 27 February, 2021 – Ireland 48-10 Italy – Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia) PROFILE >>
Debut: 11 April, 2015 - Montenegro 29-27 Estonia
Tests as referee: 7
Six Nations debut: N/A
Referee Nika Amashukeli will make his Six Nations debut this weekend in Dublin
Amashukeli is the first Georgian official in the Six Nations
This will be his second test at the Aviva Stadium, having taken charge of Ireland’s 60-5 victory over Japan last November
It will be the first time he has refereed Italy
Defeat will be Italy’s 100th loss in the Six Nations in what will be their 113th match
Italy have lost their last 34 Six Nations matches, dating back to a 22-19 defeat of Scotland at Murrayfield on 28 February, 2015
In this run, Italy have scored 51 tries and 429 points but conceded 183 tries and 1,372 points
In total, Italy have won just 12 and drawn one of their 112 Six Nations matches
Italy have finished bottom of the Championship for six years in a row and seven times in eight years with Scotland the exception in 2015
Italy conceded a record 239 points and 34 tries in the 2021 Six Nations
Italy scored only six tries in the 2021 Championship and only have only reached double figures for tries scored on two occasions, 12 being their record in 2003 and 2018
Johnny Sexton became the fourth player to score 500 points in the Six Nations in the win against Wales in round one, joining Owen Farrell, Jonny Wilkinson and Ronan O’Gara in achieving the feat
Sexton’s currently sits on 505 Championship points, ahead of Farrell (500) and behind Wilkinson (546) and his countryman and all-time top points-scorer O’Gara (557)
Ireland have gone seven consecutive matches without conceding a yellow card, dating back to the win over England in last year’s Championship
With his try against France in round one on debut, Tommaso Menoncello became the youngest try-scorer in the Six Nations era at 19 years and 170 days
Menoncello is also the youngest try-scorer for 55 years in the history of the Championship, since Keith Jarrett scored for Wales against England in 1967
Ireland have won their last 11 meetings with Italy dating back to a 22-15 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico in March 2013
Italy’s only other victories came in 1995 (22-12) and 1997 (37-22 and 37-29)
Only one of Italy’s victories has come on Irish soil, the 37-29 victory at Lansdowne Road in January 1997
Ireland won their most recent meeting 48-10 on this day in 2021 with Garry Ringrose, Hugo Keenan, Will Connors (2), CJ Stander and Keith Earls crossing for tries
Johan Meyer scored Italy’s only try in the defeat

Only once has an Italian player scored more than one try in a match against Ireland, Paolo
Vaccari in a 37-29 victory at Lansdowne Road in January 1997
Ireland will be without Iain Henderson after the second-row tested positive for COVID-19
Italy scrum-half Callum Braley is also ruled out of the match with a calf strain
The match-day squads will be named on Friday

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