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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019
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Ireland move up one spot in world rankings despite defeat to NZ

Meanwhile, Argentina have slipped into the dreaded ninth position months out from the draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT’S IRELAND side are back in the top four of the world rankings despite their defeat to New Zealand on Saturday.

Ireland dropped 0.21 of a ranking point as a result of their 21-9 loss to the All Blacks, but South Africa’s rating slid further following their surprise loss to Italy.

Schmidt’s side have leapfrogged the Springboks, who drop to fifth in the world after losing two ranking points.

Australia, Ireland’s opponents this weekend, have a considerable buffer in third, with England in second and New Zealand comfortably atop the rankings.

Scotland have had a timely boost of two places, passing Argentina and France, following their home win against the Pumas, their move to seventh coming six months out from the draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Argentina are now under pressure to secure a win against England this weekend as they have slid to ninth in the rankings.

Saturday’s match at Twickenham (14.30) is Argentina’s final Test before the May draw, meaning if they fail to defeat Eddie Jones’ side they will have to rely on France, Scotland or Wales having dreadful a Six Nations campaign and sliding behind them on the rankings.

Italy, despite their win against South Africa, remain in 13th spot.

Saturday’s fixtures:

  • Italy v Tonga (14.00)
  • England v Argentina (14.30)
  • Scotland v Georgia (14.30)
  • Romania v Uruguay (16.00)
  • Ireland v Australia (17.30)
  • Wales v South Africa (17.30)
  • France v New Zealand (20.00)

Sunday:

  • Fiji v Japan (14.00)

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Alan Waldron

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