IRELAND WILL MOVE up to third in World Rugby’s official rankings following yesterday’s 29-20 win over New Zealand.
The All Blacks came into this weekend as the top-ranked side in the world but will now relinquish that spot to South Africa, who beat Scotland yesterday.
Andy Farrell’s Ireland had been ranked fifth before yesterday’s victory over New Zealand but their third-ever win over the Kiwis will see them move up two spots on the list.
Ahead of this weekend’s Autumn Nations Series action, World Rugby had confirmed that “Ireland will climb two places to third if they beat New Zealand and Australia are beaten by England.”
Australia lost to Eddie Jones’ England yesterday.
Of course, the world rankings are not hugely important at present given that the pool draw for the 2023 World Cup has already been made.
Ireland will compete against South Africa, Scotland, Asia/Pacific 1 [expected to be Tonga], and Europe 2 [likely to be Romania, Portugal or Russia] in Pool B of the World Cup in France.
Ireland have previously enjoyed success in November windows before suffering disappointment at World Cups and it was notable yesterday that they spoke about not peaking now two years out from the tournament.
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“We’ve already identified that this is the start of a two-year journey and we’ve said that,” said Ireland captain Johnny Sexton. “This is the start and it’s important that we continually improve.
“Obviously, this being a peak is no good to anybody.”