World Rankings: Ireland and France extend lead at the top
NEWS: The top of the 2023 Six Nations table is mirrored by the rankings with Ireland and France still in first and second position.
Having inflicted a record 53-10 defeat on England Les Bleus needed Ireland to slip up in Sunday’s fixture against Scotland to become the world’s number-one team.
However, Ireland overcame a tough test of their credentials to beat Scotland 22-7 and extend their stay at the top.
Ireland’s rating increased by 0.49 of a point to 91.82 as a result of the win, while France picked up exactly one point to boost their tally to 90.47 points.
Therefore, the gap between the two best teams in the world has marginally narrowed to 1.35 points.
Meanwhile, Wales have moved up one place to ninth in the World Rugby Rankings following their 29-17 win against Italy in Rome.
Warren Gatland’s side had faced the prospect of dropping out of the world’s top 10 altogether in defeat, but they came home with all five points to avoid a first Six Nations whitewash since 2003.
With 1.20 points gained for the win, Wales’ rating has increased to 78.08, which is 0.69 of a point more than the Brave Blossoms.
Italy are now favourites to collect a ninth wooden spoon in the last 10 years as their winless run in this year’s Championship continues.
The defeat to Wales has also led to them falling below Fiji and into 14th place in the rankings.
The Azzurri now have 74.63 points having started the weekend on 75.83.
Scotland and England both remain in fifth and sixth place, respectively but with reduced ratings of 82.77 and 82.12.
The only other change to report is an improved rating of 54.67 points for Switzerland who cemented 28th place in the rankings with a 59-32 win over Ukraine in Zagreb in the Rugby Europe Trophy.
Switzerland now have an almost unassailable lead at the top of the Trophy table after picking up a maximum 15 points from their first three fixtures.
Ukraine remain eight places further back in the rankings in 36th.