• Wales could slip further

    All the IRB world ranking permutations for this weekend's matches.

    – If England were to turn the tide and become the first side to defeat New  Zealand on home soil since 2009, they will sneak above Australia into third place. Victory for the All Blacks, though, would see them equal the tier-one world record of 17 consecutive Test match wins, a mark set by their predecessors in 1965-69 and the Springboks in 1997-98.

    – Regardless of the results, New Zealand and South Africa will remain No 1 and 2 in the world.

    – Sixth placed Wales are so far behind, even an unlikely win against the Boks won't be enough for them to overtake rivals Ireland in fifth place.

    – Defeat to South Africa and a French victory over the Wallabies in Sydney, will see Phillippe Saint-André's men leapfrog Wales in the rankings.

    – When Argentina host Scotland, there'll be more at stake than just a Test match victory. Ranked 11th, Los Pumas head into the match knowing a win will promote them above the Scots into eighth, while defeat will see them slump to a record low 12th.

    – Separated by 0.04 of a point in ninth and 10th respectively, there's much more up for grabs than bragging rights when Fiji and Samoa square-off in Suva. The winners will be safe in ninth spot, while the losing team will be keeping a close eye on proceedings in Tokyo.

    Japan will extend their winning run to double figures should they beat Italy, who in stark contrast, are on an eight-match losing streak. If that were to happen, the Brave Blossoms will move into the top 10 at the expense of either Samoa or Fiji.

    IRB rankings (Top 15)

    1. New Zealand 93.81
    2. South Africa 89.34
    3. Australia 86.92
    4. England 85.68
    5. Ireland 83.44
    6. Wales 80.70
    7. France 80.03
    8. Scotland 76.63
    9. Samoa 75.60
    10. Fiji 75.56
    11. Argentina 75.12
    12. Japan 75.07
    13. Tonga 72.58
    14. Italy 71.23
    15. Georgia 70.46
    Full rankings

    Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Post by

    Mariette Adams