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The Updated World Rankings Are Out - Big Boost For Ireland With World Cup Draw On Horizon

The Updated World Rankings Are Out - Big Boost For Ireland With World Cup Draw On Horizon
By Conor Neville Updated

The updated World rankings confirmed that Ireland have risen to 4th in the world rankings. We've nosed ahead of South Africa, who became the first of the old Tri-Nations teams to lose to Italy at the weekend.

The Springboks shed a truckload of ranking points, dropping 1.93 points. By contrast, Ireland only lost 0.21 points for the All-Black defeat.

The top 3 of New Zealand, England and Australia remain unchanged. A win over Australia will leave Ireland very close to overhauling the Aussies in terms of ranking points. Our highest ever world ranking is 2nd, which was achieved shortly before the World Cup last year.

Our new ranking raises the prospect of a seeding for next year's World Cup. With the tournament hosted by Japan, the top four ranked teams will surely be installed as 1st seeds.

Unfortunately, World Rugby have taken the sensible decision to push back back the World Cup draw until at least two years before the tournament. It is scheduled to take place in May next year.

For previous World Cups, the draw was made after the November internationals three years before competition. The seedings were often badly out of date when the competition rolled around, as Ireland found out to their cost in 2007 (though, their form deteriorated to such an extent that they might have struggled to escape from an easier pool).

For this cycle, we'll have to play an extra-Six Nations before seedings are finally determined. Plenty left to happen before Ireland are assured of a first seed berth.

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Here's the updated rankings.

Read more: NZ Herald Publishes Laughable Attack On RTÉ's Clare McNamara After Hansen Interview

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