Read the latest World Rugby Rankings permutations as the NatWest 6 Nations and European qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2019 comes to a conclusion this weekend.
Italy (14) v Scotland (6)
If Italy win narrowly or draw they will move above Tonga and into 13th, or higher if the Lelos slip up against Rugby Europe Championship rivals Romania. A win of more than 15 points would guarantee the Azzurri a two-place rise to 12th even if Georgia comfortably beat Romania in Tbilisi. At best, Georgia can only improve their rating by a fraction under a quarter of a point which won’t be enough to move them any higher up the rankings as Japan are too far in front. The five-hundredths of a point on offer for a Scotland win will be enough to take them above South Africa and back into fifth.
England (3) v Ireland (2)
England can reclaim second spot from Ireland with a win today. England will hang onto third place in the rankings come what may, but a third consecutive defeat, by a margin of more than 15 points, would leave them just 11-hundredths above Australia in fourth. A big win for Ireland is worth a fraction under two and a quarter ratings points, not enough to see them overhaul New Zealand at the top.
Wales (7) v France (8)
With only a fraction over half a ratings point on offer for a big win, Wales cannot climb any higher than their present position of seventh, unless Scotland fail to beat Italy in Rome. France can climb as high as sixth if they win well, leapfrogging Wales and a beaten Scotland in the process.
Germany (28) v Russia (20)
An emphatic victory would lift Germany back into the world’s top 25 ranked nations, or up two places above the Netherlands and Brazil, to 26th, if Belgium beat Spain. A defeat would result in Germany dropping below Chile to 29th. A heavy Russian win combined with a defeat for Spain would see the Bears replace Los Leones in 19th place.
Belgium (29) v Spain (19)
Two and a quarter ratings points are on offer for a big Belgium win but that would still not be enough for the Black Devils to improve their position, although the gap between themselves and Namibia above would be cut to just nine-hundredths of a point. The win that would take Spain to Rugby World Cup 2019 would not be accompanied by any improvement in their position in the rankings, even though they stand to gain a maximum of three-quarters of a point.
Georgia (12) v Romania (17)
Rugby Europe Championship leaders Georgia cannot catch Japan above them as even the most resounding of victories is only worth 0.24 of a point, and the gap between the nations is 1.86 points. Should Georgia’s title hopes disappear with a heavy defeat, they also face the prospect of ending the weekend ranked in 15th place below the Oaks, Tonga and Italy.