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Ireland Riding High In First Ever Woman's World Rugby Rankings

Ireland Riding High In First Ever Woman's World Rugby Rankings
By Gary Reilly

Ireland's recent ascendency to the top of the Women's Six Nations championship has ensured that the first ever Women's World Rugby rankings sees Ireland slot in at a very respectable fourth spot.

With the championship having been dominated by England since 1996, Ireland turned the tables to claim the Grand Slam in 2013. The remarkable World Cup group stage victory over New Zealand followed in 2014 before a 70 point win over Scotland back in March saw Ireland claim a second Six Nations title in three years.

That recent pedigree has gone a long way to ensuring Ireland enter the first ever woman's rankings with just England, France and New Zealand ahead of us. To compile the rankings, World Rugby looked back all the way to 1987 to analyse every legitimate international match with the most recent results obviously being given more weighting in terms of the final standing.

Ireland's recent good form thus bodes well.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset has said that the increased competition at the top of the women's game ensured that the rankings were a necessity ahead of the 2017 World Cup in Ireland.

After the success of Women's Rugby World Cup in 2014 and the excitement building up to the next edition in 2017 in Ireland, it's vital for international teams to have a rankings focus that will drive exposure and interest as well as increasing the competition schedule, as it encourages member unions to play more test matches.

New Zealand may be sitting comfortably at the top of the heap but another Six Nations win would go some way to edging past England and France in the next month or so.

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