Rankings set for big changes

(IRB.COM) Friday 18 June 2010
 
 Rankings set for big changes
Head coach Andy Robinson could lead Scotland to their highest ever IRB World Ranking with victory over Argentina

17 of the top 22 teams in the IRB World Rankings are all in action this weekend and there are a number of changes to positions that could occur.

Having beaten Argentina last weekend Scotland can climb two places into seventh with a similar victory, their highest position since November 2006, although they have never recorded successive victories against the South Americans on Argentinean soil.

Andy Robinson's men could also achieve their highest ever position of sixth with a victory of more than 15 points. This would, however, only happen if Australia were to beat England by more than 15 points for the first time since 2006.

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If England lose to Australia at the ANZ stadium for a second successive week and Argentina win, Argentina would reclaim the sixth place they lost to England last week, and England would drop to seventh, with Australia also remaining in third.

The other matches affecting the top 10 sees New Zealand take on Wales and South Africa play 11th placed Italy.

Wales have never beaten New Zealand, currently first in the IRB World Rankings, away from home, but if they did so by any margin they would gain 2 rating points and move up to sixth. The current World Champions South Africa can claim first place if they beat Italy by more than 15 points, and Wales do the same to New Zealand.

Reclaiming lost ground

The ANZ Pacific Nations Cup reaches the second round of matches this weekend with Fiji meeting Tonga and Japan playing Samoa at Apia Park.

Having narrowly lost to Samoa 24-23 last week and slipping two ranking positions to 17th, Tonga will be looking to bounce back and reclaim lost ground.

They can climb as high as 13th, a gain of four places, with a victory of more than 15 points over Fiji. Tonga have won three of the four meetings against Fiji and any margin of victory will move them up to 14th, although Fiji would remain 10th.

Japan and Samoa play in the second match, and a victory of more than 15 points for the hosts will see them climb one place above Italy into 11th. A victory of any kind for the visitors will see the two teams swap places and .5 rating points meaning Japan would sit 12th.

In the Churchill Cup Bowl final, Russia can move up one place to 18th with a victory over Uruguay, but a South American victory of any margin would see the teams swap places.

Namibia can also climb two places to 20th above Russia if Uruguay win, as long as they beat Georgia in the Nations Cup by more than 15 points as they look to win their first ever Nations Cup. They will climb one place and gain 1.71 rating points with any margin over victory and Georgia would drop to 17th.

Big gains on offer in CAR

The other highest possible gain this week is for Morocco. Having already beaten Senegal 60-0 in the CAR Trophy this week, a victory of any margin against Tunisia will see them gain 3.05 rating points and six places to 25th. If their defeat is by more than 15 points, Tunisia would drop five places to 34th.

Ivory Coast and Senegal play in the other CAR Trophy match that will affect the rankings this weekend and despite losing to Tunisia, Senegal could climb eight places from 63rd to 55th with any margin of victory and Ivory Coast would slip from 40th to 45th.

Uganada can climb four places to 40th with a victory of more than 15 points against Zimbabwe in the Victoria Cup, and a second successive defeat, having lost to Kenya last week, would see Zimbabwe drop three more places to 51st. They can climb to 44th however with a victory of more than 15 points themselves.

For a full break down of the changes in the rankings, the IRB World Rankings update at 12:00 UK time every Monday.