World Rankings: Scotland rise, England fall
SPOTLIGHT: There are a few changes in World Rugby’s Rankings after the first round of this year’s Six Nations.
Scotland have moved above England and into fifth place following their 29-23 win at Twickenham on Saturday.
Duhan van der Merwe’s brilliant brace and further tries from Huw Jones and Ben White got Scotland’s Six Nations campaign off to the perfect start and ensured the Calcutta Cup remained in their possession for at least another year.
On a weekend when all three away teams won for only the third time in the history of the competition, Scotland picked up 1.51 points and their overall rating is now 83.06.
It is the first time Scotland have been fifth in the rankings since they finished in the top half of the table in the 2018 Six Nations.
With England falling to sixth, on 82.15 points, Australia also drop down a place to replace Scotland in seventh.
Meanwhile, Ireland began a thrilling opening weekend of Six Nations rugby by increasing their lead over France at the top of the rankings by seven hundredths of a point.
Their 34-10 win against Wales in Cardiff increased their rating to 90.70 points whereas France did not pick up additional points for beating Italy 29-24 in Rome on Sunday.
Wales stay in ninth place despite the defeat but are now only 0.63 of a point better off than Japan in 10th.
With all four of the higher-ranked teams in the Rugby Europe Championship winning as expected, there were no further changes to the rankings.
Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifiers Georgia, Portugal and Romania remain in 13th, 18th, and 20th following emphatic wins over Germany (75-12), Belgium (54-17) and Poland (67-27), respectively.
Spain, ranked 16th, were pushed closer than many people thought they would be by the Netherlands in Madrid, but they had enough points in reserve to withstand a second-half comeback from the Dutch and win 28-20.