World Rankings: A top four shake-up?
SPOTLIGHT: World Rugby has published the ranking permutations for the men’s internationals in Europe this weekend.
Four nations can end the weekend ranked No.1: Ireland, France, New Zealand and South Africa.
France will assume top spot if they beat Japan and Ireland fail to beat Australia – unless New Zealand also defeat England by more than 15 points.
That scenario will see the All Blacks return to No.1 and Ireland drop to third.
If the All Blacks win by more than 15 points, they will still climb above a victorious France as Les Bleus cannot improve their rating with victory due to the 12.61 rating points between the two sides before home weighting is factored in.
Ireland cannot improve their rating with victory over Australia due to the 9.99 points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.
South Africa can climb to second if they beat Italy by more than 15 points, Ireland lose by the same margin and France are also beaten
The Springboks must win by more than 15 points and hope that France, New Zealand and Ireland are all beaten – the latter by more than 15 points – to return to No.1
England will climb above South Africa if they beat New Zealand and the Springboks lose to Italy with one of the margins being by more than 15 points.
However, England can drop to seventh if they lose by more than 15 points and Australia and Argentina win by the same margin in Dublin and Edinburgh.
Japan can jump two places to eighth if they beat France, depending on results for Wales and Scotland.
Italy will return to the top 10 for the first time since June 2013 if they beat South Africa and Japan lose to France.
The Azzurri could equal their highest-ever ranking of eighth – a position they last occupied briefly in August 2007 – if they win by more than 15 points and Australia, Scotland and Wales all lose by the same margin.
Scotland must beat Argentina by more than 15 points to be the higher ranked of the two nations as a smaller margin will leave them 0.05 rating points behind Los Pumas.
A climb to sixth is possible for Scotland depending on the margin and other results.
Argentina can climb to fifth if they win by more than 15 points and England lose.
Australia could equal their lowest-ever ranking of ninth if beaten by Ireland, depending on the results for Scotland, Wales and Japan.
Wales cannot improve their rating with victory over Georgia due to the 8.07 rating points between the teams before home weighting is factored in.
However, Wales can still climb the rankings if they win and Los Pumas lose to Scotland.