The Springboks could go into the World Cup as the world’s number-one side with a good win against the All Blacks in their final warm-up at Twickenham.
World Rugby on Friday announced the weekly ranking permutations for the final round of 2023 World Cup warm-up matches this weekend.
The Springboks go into Friday night’s clash with the All Blacks ranked at number three, after leapfrogging World Cup hosts France following a record-breaking win over Wales in Cardiff.
Ireland have led the rankings since last year’s series victory in New Zealand, but could be dethroned this weekend, as Andy Farrell’s side won’t get any rating points out of the game against Samoa, due to the 16.63 points difference between the teams.
This means that going into the World Cup as Test rugby’s top-ranked side is up for grabs for both New Zealand and South Africa.
New Zealand will end Ireland’s unbroken 13-month reign at the summit if they beat South Africa by more than 15 points at Twickenham on Friday.
Similarly, South Africa could return to the top of the rankings with a victory by more than 15 points, but the Springboks will also need Samoa to stop Ireland from winning on Saturday.
The Springboks can climb above New Zealand into second place with a win by any margin against the All Blacks.
France, however, can regain third place and dump South Africa back into fourth if Les Bleus beat Australia and the Springboks lose against New Zealand.
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