How the world rugby rankings could change this weekend as Australia can leapfrog but Ireland and France face drop

The All Blacks can close the gap on South Africa’s top world ranking spot and Ireland and France could drop positions if results go Australia’s way.

World Rugby has published the ranking permutations for the Rugby Championship matches between New Zealand and Argentina, and South Africa and Australia plus the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier between Canada and the USA.

The All Blacks and Wallabies are technically the home sides this weekend, meaning they cannot improve their ratings simply by winning over the lower-ranked Argentina and Australia respectively.

Ian Foster’s men can’t fall from second place in defeat, but could close the gap on South Africa to just 1.18 rating points if they win and the Springboks lose by more than 15 points.

However, the gap – currently 4.18 points – could grow to 7.18 points if New Zealand lose by more than 15 points and South Africa emphatically beat Australia.

As for Argentina, they can jump two places to fourth – overtaking Ireland currently in fourth and France in fifth – in victory and a record-equalling third is possible if Los Pumas beat the All Blacks by more than 15 points.

The Aussies – occupying seventh position – can climb one or two places with a win, even if Argentina also win, with Ireland and France the teams to fall. The Wallabies can even jump three places to fourth if they win against the Springboks by more than 15 points and Argentina fail to beat to New Zealand – a position Dave Rennie’s men last held in June 2018.

As for the Rugby World Cup 2023 World Cup qualifier, Canada will be ranked higher than USA if they beat the Eagles by more than 15 points – a result which would lift them up to 19th and see the USA drop four to a new low of 21st.

They haven’t been ranked above USA since June 2016 – and only then for one week – and haven’t been in the top 20 of the rankings since February 2019.

USA will fall two places to 19th if the margin of defeat is smaller, while a draw will drop them below Romania.

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