Ireland have climbed one place to seventh in the latest IRB World Rankings after drawing 17-17 with France at the Stade de France in their rearranged RBS 6 Nations match on Sunday. The draw was just enough to lift the Irish above Argentina, albeit only by two hundredths of a rating point, and away from their lowest ever position since the IRB World Rankings were introduced in October 2003.
The draw on home soil not only ended France’s hopes of the Grand Slam, but also saw them surrender third place to South Africa to re-establish the southern hemisphere top three broken when Les Bleus reached the RWC 2011 Final. France still remain in the top four, a position their European rivals are all coveting to avoid the prospect of being drawn in the same pool as defending champions New Zealand, Australia or South Africa at the RWC 2015 Pool Allocation Draw later this year.
That top four ranking will again be under threat when France welcome England to the Stade de France this weekend in the penultimate round of the RBS 6 Nations, which also sees Italy take on unbeaten Wales at the Millennium Stadium and Ireland host Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.