Ireland will be confirmed as World No.1 when Monday rankings published
Top of the world, for the second time since the ratings began.
For the past three decades, the World Rugby [formerly International Rugby Board] rankings have tallied the best runs for the best sides on the planet. The latest Ireland rankings boost will be confirmed on Monday.
Ireland defeated New Zealand 32-22 in Wellington to clinch a 2-1 series victory and, with it, top spot in the World Rugby rankings.
That Irish win sees them climb to 90.03 points after gaining 1.24 points for the win at Sky Stadium. Having sank to a record low of fourth in the rankings, last week, the All Blacks will remain there if South Africa beat, or draw with, Wales.
This is the first time since August 2019, when Ireland beat Wales in Cardiff in a World Cup warm-up, that the men in green have topped the rankings. Their cause was aided by France only playing two Tests against Japan, this summer. Les Bleus drop to second after that second Ireland win over New Zealand in eight days.
'That's the hardest thing to do in rugby by a country mile'
Asked, following his side's historic series win over New Zealand, if he was pleased, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell reckoned that word didn't have cover it.
"I mean, what’s the biggest thing that you can say about a group of people? I don’t think there is a word," he said.
"Because that’s the hardest thing to do in rugby by a country mile. We lost game one, you know? We lost game one and our backs were against the wall. And apparently we were going to feel the full wrath of the All Blacks today, and we said that was the challenge that we wanted.
"Our best 40 minutes of the campaign was in the first half. That says a lot about how they are as a team and where they’re going and the belief that they’ve got. This is the hardest thing you can do in rugby by a country mile, especially when you take it down to the last game and we know from history that the All Blacks are going to come out firing."
England had a series win, too, having defeated Australia 21-17 in Sydney but that only consolidated their position of fifth in the standings. Defeat for the Wallabies has seen Scotland leapfrog them to sixth in the world.
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