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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018

Schmidt's Ireland hit highest-ever World Rugby ranking points total

They’re just 1.37 ranking points behind the All Blacks.

IRELAND WILL HAVE the opportunity to usurp New Zealand at the top of the World Rugby rankings during next year’s Six Nations, after Joe Schmidt’s side hit their highest-ever points total. 

A first home win over the All Blacks was not enough for Ireland to jump ahead of the back-to-back world champions into the number one position, but Saturday’s 16-9 victory has closed the gap between the two nations to just 1.37 rating points.  

Ireland players celebrate after the game Ireland celebrate Saturday's win. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The historic result at the Aviva Stadium earned Ireland 1.05 points, while the All Blacks came down from 93.58 to 92.54 points.

Ireland’s current points total of 91.17 is their highest ever, with Schmidt’s men passing the 90-point mark for the first time last June on the back of their series success in Australia.

They have won 17 of their last 18 Test matches since March 2017, residing in the world’s top four and gaining 7.99 rating points during that time.

When Schmidt took over in November 2013, Ireland were ranked eighth in the world. 

Meanwhile, USA arrive in Dublin for Saturday’s Test at the Aviva in their highest-ever position of 13th after defeating Romania 31-5 last weekend. 

The Eagles have won all nine of their Tests so far in 2018 and as a reward are now above both Georgia and Conor O’Shea’s Italy in the world rankings.

World Rugby rankings:

1. New Zealand 92.54
2. Ireland 91.17
3. Wales 86.70
4. England 85.54
5. South Africa 85.12
6. Australia 83.08
7. Scotland 81.57
8. France 78.88
9. Argentina 77.32
10. Fiji 76.40
11. Japan 75.24
12. Tonga 73.84
13. USA 73.66
14. Italy 72.75
15. Georgia 72.60

– Updated 20 November: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Georgia’s ranking points as 7.60; it is 72.60.

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Ryan Bailey

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