Ireland, England Or Wales Could Become The Number One Team In The World This Weekend
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Battle for top spot.
It’s set to be a busy few days in terms of the World Rugby Rankings with five of the top six ranked teams in the world all in action.
New Zealand’s shock record defeat to Australia last weekend blew the rankings wide open, with Steve Hansen’s men briefly surrendering the top spot to Wales before their defeat to England put the world champions back on top again.
But Wales will have a second bite at the cherry this weekend when they welcome England to Cardiff. A win at the Principality will see them go top of the rankings no mater the result between Australia and New Zealand.
As for England they can also claim top spot this weekend if they manage to defeat Wales by more than 15 points. For the All Blacks to stay top they will need to beat Australia and hope for a draw or an England win by less than 15 points.
Then there’s little old Ireland. They might not be in action this weekend, but they can still climb to the top of the rankings this weekend if results go their way. It’s a long shot but they need Wales and England to play out a draw and Australia to beat or draw with the All Blacks.
While it’s highly unlikely that will play out – let’s not forget that Ireland are playing England next week and still have two games to come against Wales, meaning they could very easily end up on top ahead of the World Cup.
While we understand occupying top spot weeks before a World Cup means nothing – if England, Wales or Ireland manage to find themselves there before they fly out to Japan it would be a massive psychological boost.
Only three teams have been top since 2003 – England, South Africa and New Zealand, with the All Blacks holding top spot for the last ten years. It’s a big deal lads, and something to be very proud of. And with things this close at the moment – it bodes well for an incredibly competitive World Cup.
Saying that, the official rankings are tight at the moment, and there's plenty of potential for other possibilities.
— Rugby4Cast (@Rugby4Cast) August 16, 2019