World Rugby Men's Rankings Preview: 18-19 March, 2023
World Rugby has published the ranking permutations for the final round of matches in the Guinness Six Nations and Rugby Europe 2023 this weekend.
- Neither Ireland nor France can improve their rating in victory this weekend due to the significant points difference between themselves and their opponents, England and Wales, as well as taking home advantage into account.
- If both teams win, Ireland will stay first and France second. Ireland can even afford to draw and still retain top spot as the loss of one rating point would still give them a superior rating.
- France will take over at the top if Ireland lose and they win. A draw will be enough for Les Bleus if Ireland are beaten at home by more than 15 points.
- Defeat for both teams – with Ireland losing by more than 15 points – will result in New Zealand becoming number one in the world. South Africa will also move up two places in that scenario, to second place.
- A fall to fourth place is possible for both Ireland and France.
- Like Ireland and France, Scotland are not able to increase their rating this weekend even if they win well as they are at home to Italy who are nine places and 8.14 points worse off than them.
- This means that even if Scotland beat the Azzurri, England can move above them if they manage to avoid defeat in Dublin as even a draw would be enough to bridge the narrow 0.65-point gap between the teams.
- Scotland will end the weekend as the lowest-ranked of the Home Nations if they are beaten heavily by Italy and Wales spring a surprise on France in Paris.
- A losing margin of more than 15 points will send Scotland tumbling down from fifth place to ninth while Italy will move up four places to 10th if that happens. The Azzurri haven’t been ranked in the world’s top 10 since March 2013.
- In such an event, there would only be one place and 2.14 points separating the teams.
- Fifth place is the highest that England can attain in victory as they are too far adrift of the top four to go any higher.
- For Wales, a climb of two places to seventh is possible if they can beat France by more than 15 points and Scotland lose.
- Winning the final of the Rugby Europe Championship will result in Georgia moving above Samoa with a record-equalling high of 11th place possible if Italy also don’t succeed at Murrayfield.
- The Lelos play Portugal in Sunday’s showpiece and will only be just over a point off the top 10 if they win by more than 15 points.
- Even with a maximum of 2.70 points available to them for the most comprehensive of victories, it is not possible for Portugal to improve on 16th place. Nor can Os Lobos fall in defeat as the most they can lose is three-tenths of a point, which would still give them a better rating than the teams immediately below them.
- Spain can, however, climb the rankings if they win their bronze medal match against Romania. Any form of win will lift Los Leones above the USA, while a win of more than 15 points will also see them also leapfrog Uruguay into 17th place.
- Romania cannot fall out of the top 20 in defeat as they have a big enough points cushion over Namibia below them.
- If they win, Romania can gain up to three places depending on the margin of victory.
- Defeat will cost Spain one place and result in the Oaks becoming the higher-ranked of the two teams.
- Victory for the Netherlands in their fifth-place play-off against Germany will lift them above Brazil and into 26th place.
- Germany could fall by as many as three places to 33rd if beaten for a second time by the Dutch in this year’s competition.
- A win for Germany will result in them becoming the higher-ranked of the teams with 26th place possible depending on the margin of victory. Defeat for the Dutch could cost them as many as three places.
- A first win of the year for Belgium in the seventh place play-off against Poland will not be enough for the Black Devils to improve on 29th place unless it is combined with a defeat for the Netherlands.
- A defeat will cost Poland 33rd place with Kenya the side set to benefit.
- Any form of win will be enough for Poland to climb into the world’s top 30.
- The gap between themselves and Czechia is too big for Ukraine to make up any ground in the rankings.
- Their Rugby Europe Trophy opponents Sweden, however, can go up five places or down six places depending on the result.
- If they win by more than 15 points, Sweden will replace Ukraine in 36th place and Ukraine will drop to 43rd, their lowest-ever ranking.