Latest World Rankings: Ireland overtake England, Wales fall

Latest World Rankings: Ireland overtake England, Wales fall

Ireland have moved up to fourth place in the overall World Rugby rankings following the action in the penultimate round of the Six Nations.

England put up an incredible fight a man down after a nightmare start, but Ireland remained in contention for the title and moved up the rankings.

Ireland's 32-15 bonus-point victory sees them take their Rankings points to 88.09. They are now 0.26 points ahead of England, who drop to fifth place. Ireland are now 0.46 behind third-ranked France.

France will go for Grand Slam glory after resisting a determined effort from Wales to snatch a massive 13-9 win in Cardiff. Les Bleus' victory over Wales earned them 0.91 ranking points which saw them retain second place. A 15-point win over Wales would have seen France (88.55) move above New Zealand into second place on the overall rankings, with the All Blacks (88.75) holding a slender 0.20 lead over France.

The loss to France saw Wales drop to eighth place on the rankings, with Scotland replacing them in seventh place.

Scotland responded to back-to-back defeats by inflicting another Six Nations loss on Italy in Rome. Chris Harris scored a first-half double as Scotland beat Italy 33-22 in an entertaining Six Nations encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland after the game, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said he was happy with the win but also reserved praise for Kieran Crowley's team, who scored 22 points for the first time since also doing so against France in 2020's tournament.

"We're delighted with the win, it's been a tough venue for Scottish teams for a number of years," said Townsend.

"I felt we built the victory in the first half, and the players played really well up to around the 50-minute mark. After that, we weren't as good. I have to say that's the best I've seen Italy play over the last couple of seasons."

Scotland (81.93) move into seventh place on the rankings and now hold a 0.65 point lead over Wales (81.28).

Spain will make the short trip to France for Rugby World Cup 2023 as the Europe 2 qualifier following a 33-28 defeat of Portugal in Madrid on Sunday. The result in the Rugby Europe Championship did not see either side move up or down in the World Rankings, with Spain holding onto 15th place and Portugal remaining at 20.

Romania's 23-26 loss to Georgia saw them surrender 17th place on the rankings to the USA, who move up one place despite not playing this weekend. Although Romania have dropped one place in the rankings, their hopes of qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023 remain alive, following Portugal’s narrow loss to Spain in Madrid.

In the Rugby Europe Trophy, Switzerland beat Belgium 22-18, with the result seeing them jump up for ranking places. Switzerland went from 35 to 31st place, moving above Kenya, Zimbabwe, Colombia, and Germany.

Finally, Luxembourg's 30-23 win over Hungary saw them move into 58th place in the world rankings swapping places with Moldova.

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