Scotland Rise To Fifth In The World Rugby Rankings
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On the up.
Scotland’s fine performances during the recent Autumn International Series have seen them rise to fifth place in the World Rugby rankings. This is equal to their highest ever position, which they last reached following their Six Nations victory over Wales earlier this year.
New Zealand remain top of the rankings, with England and Ireland in second and third respectively. The Australians, who Scotland beat so impressively last month, are in fourth. Scotland have taken fifth place at the expense of South Africa, who dropped to sixth following their defeat to Wales at the weekend.
Here are the top ten rankings in full.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
In addition to the victory over Australia, Scotland’s Test series also included a win against Samoa and a narrow defeat to the All Blacks. They now have four wins out of six under new head coach Gregor Townsend, who has done a great job of continuing the progress made under his predecessor Vern Cotter.
The improvement shown by Scotland has led to some pundits declaring them as potential winners of the upcoming Six Nations. That seems a little optimistic given the form of England and Ireland, and the bookmakers appear to agree.
Rugby is no stranger to betting action, and the odds are usually a good indicator of what’s likely to happen. All the bookmakers have England as the firm favourites to win the tournament at around 4/5. Ireland are the next favourites at around 3/1, while Scotland and Wales are both around 10/1.
This doesn’t mean that Scotland have no chance, of course. Stranger things have happened in this sport, and Scotland will certainly be more of a threat than they have been in recent years.
England head coach Eddie Jones doesn’t seem too worried though. When asked for this thoughts on Scotland’s chances, he responded with a thinly-veiled dig. He reminded everyone that Scotland had been hyped up before facing England last year, only to be thrashed 61-21.
It’s unlikely that England will find it quite so easy this time around, especially as the game is at Murrayfield and not Twickenham. Whether or not Scotland can claim a first victory against their fierce rivals since 2008 remains to be seen, but it’s sure to be a hard-fought battle.