Ireland move up to third in IRB world rankings after Georgia victory
More misery for Stuart Lancaster's England as they are dethroned as the northern hemisphere's top side after South Africa defeat
Ireland have moved up to third in the IRB World Rankings after their 49-7 win over Georgia in Dublin on the same day world champions marked five years at number one.
The emphatic victory for Joe Schmidt’s side, coupled with England’s 31-28 defeat by South Africa and Australia’s 29-26 loss in France, sees Ireland replace Stuart Lancaster’s England as the northern hemisphere’s top nation and equal their highest position, last achieved eight years ago.
The Irish gained no additional rating points for their efforts, but Australia and England both lost points as a result of their defeats to slip one place to fourth and fifth, respectively, which brought about the changes.
“I think it’s a distraction,” Schmidt said. “We can’t win anything by saying we’re third in the world.
“I can’t say it’s something we’d be talking about or even aware of.
“I think it’s fantastic, and a feather in the cap of the lads who have rolled their sleeves up for the last 12 months.”
Ireland have been on an impressive run under Schmidt, losing just two of 12 matches since the Kiwi took charge last summer and Australia’s defeat means they are now 0.62 rating points behind the Irish, while South Africa closed the gap to New Zealand to 3.77 points.
The Irish now have a cushion of 0.62 points from Australia, who avoided a two-place fall to fifth by the smallest of margins after a 29-26 loss to France in Paris with the Wallabies sitting just one hundredth of a point above England now.
With France winning in Paris, Wales were unable to regain their sixth place lost a week earlier, but their 17-13 win over Fiji was enough to consolidate that position, while Fiji were bumped down to 13th as Pacific Island rivals Tonga moved up one place after their 40-12 win over the USA in Gloucester.
Argentina’s 20-18 win over Italy in Geona on Friday night sees them move up to ninth place at the expense of Japan, as Los Pumas accumulated more rating points than the Cherry Blossoms, who won 18-13 against Romania.
IRB world rankings – 17 November 2014