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Ireland have moved up to second in the world rankings for the first time ever

Joe Schmidt’s men replace South Africa in World Rugby’s official list.

IRELAND HAVE MOVED up to second in the world rankings for the first time ever following yesterday’s 35-21 win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Joe Schmidt talks to his players Joe Schmidt speaks to his players before today's win against Wales. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Joe Schmidt’s men moved up to third in the official World Rugby list last November, returning to that position after beating England in the Six Nations in March.

Now Ireland find themselves ranked second in the world for the first time, having replaced South Africa behind leaders New Zealand.

The Springboks were beaten 37-25 by a hard-working and highly-skillful Argentina yesterday in their Rugby Championship clash in Durban.

Schmidt is sure to play down the meaning of this ranking as the second best team in the world ahead of the start of the World Cup next month, although it is a further indicator of the improvements made under the Kiwi since he took charge in 2013.

New Zealand remain in a dominant position at the top of the rankings despite their 27-19 defeat to Michael Cheika’s Australia yesterday. Ireland’s victory means they are narrowly ahead of the Wallabies in second spot.

- This article was originally published on 8 August, then updated at 12.20 on 9 August.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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