Ireland to receive further world rankings boost on Monday
They will be breathing down New Zealand's neck if they keep up their form on the summer tour to Australia.
Ireland confirmed themselves as the best team in the northern hemisphere, this weekend, by defeating former Six Nations champions England and claiming a momentous Grand Slam.
Joe Schmidt's men had climbed to second in the rugby world rankings, last weekend, after seeing off Scotland to claim their third Six Nations title in five years. They could have been overtaken by England, again, had Eddie Jones' men defeated them at Twickenham.
The moment Garry Ringrose pounced to take advantage of a high Johnny Sexton bomb, early in the first half, there was never any fear of that happening.
As it stands, though, Ireland's victory in London has secured a further rankings boost. They remain second but, having picked up 1.27 points for beating England away, they climb to a best ever tally of 89.11 points.
This rankings gee-up will be officially confirmed by World Rugby on Monday afternoon. It draws Ireland closer still to world champions New Zealand.
Ireland are set to face the All Blacks in Dublin in November of this year and the tie could well be for rugby's No.1 spot if the men in green have a prosperous summer tour Down Under.
Australia will entertain the Irish in three Test matches, this June. Winning the Test Series 3-0 would see Ireland amass at least 3 more world ranking points and put them within touching distance of New Zealand.
Some may caution that rankings stand for little, what with World Cup 2019 seeding already settled, but this must surely be the next goal for an Ireland team on a best ever 12-match winning streak.
The age profile of this Ireland squad, with breakthrough stars such as James Ryan, Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale excelling of late, means Ireland should still be in great stead when that World Cup rolls around.