World Rankings: England drop to fourth
SPOTLIGHT: England’s Six Nations defeat to Scotland has cost them third place in the World Rugby Rankings.
Ireland have overtaken England and only have South Africa and New Zealand above them.
A convincing 29-7 win over defending champions Wales followed by England’s 17-20 defeat by Scotland in Edinburgh resulted in the teams swapping places in third and fourth, respectively.
England started the day 1.3 rating points and one place better off than Ireland in the rankings but they are now 0.17 points behind.
Third place is Ireland’s highest position since the early stages of World Cup 2019 and comes as just reward for a dominant display that brought them their ninth consecutive win.
Meanwhile, Scotland move above Australia and into sixth after celebrating back-to-back Calcutta Cup triumphs for the first time since 1983/84.
England dominated possession and territory on a damp day in Edinburgh and held a 17-10 lead going into the final quarter, with Marcus Smith scoring all of their points through a try and four penalties.
But Scotland – who were in front at the break after a try on debut from replacement scrum-half Ben White – were awarded a penalty try after Luke Cowan-Dickie deliberately slapped a Finn Russell cross-kick into touch when Darcy Graham was in a position to catch the ball and score, and then sealed victory with a late Finn Russell penalty.
On Sunday, France eventually got the job done against Italy at a rain-swept Stade de France and finished the opening weekend on top of the table on points difference from Ireland.