Ireland break into top three

Ireland have climbed to third position in the IRB rankings following Australia and England's three-point defeats to France and South Africa respectively.

Ireland, who have not been among the top three-ranked nations since 2006, beat Georgia 49-7 over the weekend. The Irish did not gain any rating points, though, as Georgia are ranked a lowly 15th. The Wallabies, however, dropped 1.22 points after their narrow 29-26 loss in Paris and now sit fourth, while England not only relinquished their status as the leading northern hemisphere side, but also plunged to fifth. 

The result at Twickenham strengthened the second-placed Boks' rating by 0.91 of a point from 89.02 to 89.93, almost five clear of their conquerors Ireland. The All Blacks did not gain any points following their laboured 24-16 victory over Scotland, who also did not lose any ground in the points department. 

On the back of their exciting win over the Wallabies, France consolidated sixth spot with a 1.22 points tally increase from 80.25 to 81.47. Wales, who struggled past Fiji in Cardiff, earned a slight ratings increase of 0.16 points to remain in seventh spot above the Scots.

The 17-13 defeat proved costly for the Fijians, as they traded places with neighbours Tonga to become the lowest-ranked Pacific Island in 13th. 

In the only other change among the top-tier nations, Argentina rise to ninth ahead of Japan, who fall to 10th on the list.

IRB rankings:

1. New Zealand 93.70
2. South Africa 89.93
3. Ireland 84.84
4. Australia 84.22
5. England 84.21
6. France 81.47
7, Wales 79.94
8. Scotland 78.27
9. Argentina 76.42
10. Japan 76.07
11. Samoa 75.39
12. Tonga 74.62
13. Fiji 74.18
14. Italy 71.19
15. Georgia 69.40
Full rankings
How the rankings work

Photo: Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

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