World Rankings: Plenty of spots up for grabs
SPOTLIGHT: We are set for another interesting weekend of end-of-year internationals and World Rugby has published a new batch of ranking permutations.
Any of the current top four nations could end the weekend ranked No.1.
Ireland cannot surrender top spot if they beat Fiji in Dublin – despite the fact they are unable to improve their rating due to the 15.79 points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.
Their cushion at the top could shrink from 1.22 rating points to as little as 0.12 points.
If France win and Ireland fail to beat Fiji then Les Bleus will go to No.1 in the rankings for the second time, having briefly occupied top spot for a week in July 2022.
South Africa will return to top spot if they beat France and Ireland fail to beat Fiji. If Ireland win then the Springboks will still swap places with Les Bleus to occupy second spot
New Zealand could also top the rankings for the first time since November 2021 if they beat Scotland in tandem with an Ireland defeat and a draw between France and South Africa.
England cannot improve their rating with victory over Japan due to the 7.06 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.
They could, however, drop as low as eighth in defeat depending on the margin and other results.
South Africa will regain the third place they lost last weekend to New Zealand even if both sides are beaten this weekend – a result of them losing to a higher-ranked team
Italy and Georgia will both climb above a beaten Fiji if they taste victory against Australia and Samoa respectively.
Samoa will climb above Georgia if they avoid defeat in Tbilisi and could jump three places to 11th if they win and Fiji and Italy are both beaten.
Scotland can jump two places to sixth if they beat New Zealand and Australia lose and Argentina fail to beat Wales in Cardiff
Australia could drop three places to a new low of 10th in defeat if they lose by more than 15 points and Scotland and Japan enjoy similarly big margins of victory against higher-ranked sides.
Wales must win by more than 15 points to be higher ranked than visitors Argentina.
Japan will climb above a beaten Wales into ninth place if they win at Twickenham.