France captain and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont in action against England. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)
- Ireland and France sit well positioned at the World Rugby rankings summit.
- After impressive Six Nations victories, the two countries extended their leads over third-placed New Zealand and fourth-placed South Africa.
- Wales also moved up a spot to ninth after beating Italy in Rome.
Ireland and France have extended their lead at the top of the World Rugby rankings after impressive victories in the Six Nations.
After a record 53-10 triumph over on England at Twickenham on Saturday, Les Bleus needed Ireland to slip up against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday to become the world’s top-ranked team.
However, Ireland overcame a gritty Scotland 22-7 to extend their stay at the top.
Ireland’s rating increased by 0.49 of a rating point to 91.82, while France picked up exactly one point to boost their tally to 90.47 points. Therefore, the gap between the top two nations has marginally narrowed to 1.35 points.
But they extended their advantage over the third-placed New Zealand and fourth-placed South Africa.
The All Blacks (88.98) are now 1.49 rating points behind France, with the Springboks narrowly behind the Kiwis on 88.97 points.
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Elsewhere in the rankings, Wales moved up one place to ninth following a 29-17 win over Italy in Rome.
Warren Gatland’s charges 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.
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The rest of the top 10 remains unchanged.
World Rugby rankings (top 10).1. Ireland 91.82
2. France 90.47
3. New Zealand 88.98
4. South Africa 88.97
5. Scotland 82.77
6. England 82.12
7. Australia 81.80
8. Argentina 80.72
9. Wales 78.08
10. Japan 77.39
21. Namibia 61.60
32. Zimbabwe 52.43
34. Kenya 51.79
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