Ireland extend their lead at the top of the World Rugby Rankings
Unusually there were no positional changes in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings despite there being a full programme of fixtures in the Six Nations and Rugby Europe Championship.
However, several teams did improve their rating in victory as both competitions produced a reverse set of results from the opening weekend.
Contrary to round one in the Six Nations when all three away teams won, home advantage counted for everything this time around with wins for Ireland, Scotland and England.
While in the Rugby Europe Championship four home wins were followed by four away wins with the highest-ranked of the teams – Georgia, Spain, Portugal and Romania – all coming out on top.
In ending France’s record 14-game winning streak with a 32-19 win in Dublin, Ireland picked up 0.63 of a rating point and now lead Les Bleus at the top of the rankings by 1.95 points.
France hang on to second place but the difference between themselves and New Zealand in third is now just four-tenths of a point.
Fifth-place Scotland move fractionally further ahead of England in the ratings with their 35-7 win over Wales coming with more of a reward than England got for defeating Italy 31-14.
As a reward for beginning a Six Nations campaign with two straight wins for the first time in history, Scotland received an additional three-tenths of a point and there is now a 1.09-point gap between the teams.
Wales remain in ninth place but are perilously close to matching their all-time low of 10th. Warren Gatland’s team are now just 0.34 of a point better off than Japan.
Taking a look at the Rugby Europe Championship, only Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifiers Portugal and Romania made any gains in terms of their rating. However, with just one-hundredth of a point on offer for their 65-3 win away to Poland, Portugal pretty much finished the weekend as they started it.
Portugal remain in 18th place, on 65.98 points as opposed to 65.97, with USA and Romania the teams directly below them in that order.
USA are now just half a point ahead of Romania who gained 0.63 of a point for their 56-5 win over Belgium in Brussels.
Georgia remain 13th following a 40-8 victory over the Netherlands in Amsterdam, while Spain overcame Germany 32-14 in Heidelberg. Neither match impacted the rankings due to the difference between the teams.
Meanwhile, Qatar beat Iran 40-12 but the Asia Rugby Championship Division 3 West game did not count towards the rankings as the winners are not full members of World Rugby.
World Rugby Rankings
3. New Zealand
4. South Africa