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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Ireland jump to third in IRB world rankings ahead of Wallabies clash

Defeats for Australia and England, as well as Ireland’s win, mean a change in the official ladder.

Ireland celebrate Stuart Olding's try against Georgia.
Ireland celebrate Stuart Olding's try against Georgia.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT’S IRELAND have moved up to third in the IRB world rankings, as defeats to England and Australia in yesterday’s Test match action cost the latter pair crucial ranking points.

Ireland have been ranked third in the world twice before, in 2003 and 2006.

Ireland needed to avoid defeat in today’s meeting with Georgia to confirm their latest shift up the official ladder, which they did by scoring six tries in a comprehensive 49-7 victory.

Following the win in Dublin, Schmidt claimed to have been unaware that his men were even in the reckoning for this move up the rankings.

The Ireland head coach then went on to explain that he simply wants his players to remain focused on making improvements.

I think it’s a distraction,” said Schmidt of Ireland’s forthcoming ranking. “I don’t think that we can win anything by saying we’re third in the world. We just have to probably tighten up our scrum a bit, get our set-piece right and try to get those practical things right.

“I think it’s fantastic if that’s the case. I think it’s a feather in the cap of the lads who have rolled their sleeves up for the last 12 months. But I can’t say it’s something we’ve been talking about, or even aware of.”

Michael Cheika’s Wallabies, who were third on the IRB ladder before this weekend, will be keen to bounce back instantly from their loss in France, with a clash in Dublin on Saturday providing the chance to do exactly that.

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Murray Kinsella

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