Samoa on the up in IRB rankings

Samoa’s 8-3 victory in their International Rugby Board (IRB) Pacific Nations Cup opener with Fiji has seen them rise one place to 10th in the latest IRB World Rankings – a place they lost in February following Italy’s historic away victory over Scotland in the Six Nations.

Michael Jones’ side are now only one place shy of their best ever ranking, having swapped places with Scotland, who are now sitting at their lowest ever position since the rankings were introduced in 2003.

One nation who can already boast their highest ever position is Lithuania, who climbed five places to 57th following their 27-0 victory over Austria in Vienna in Division 3B of the European Nations Cup on Saturday.

Austria as a result fall eight places to 83rd – their lowest ranking since June 2004 – while Luxembourg climb two places to 81st as a result of their 22-16 victory at home against Israel in Division 3C.

Another nation on the rise after victory in the European Nations Cup this weekend are Bulgaria, who climb two places to 91st – at the expense of Vanuatu and Israel – following a 25-10 victory over Norway in Sofia to lie third in Division 3B.

Norway fall two places to 86th as a result of the loss to Bulgaria, while the home victories for Poland and Slovenia – against Malta (36-3) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (77-5) – have not effect on their rankings of 31st and 63rd.

The same is true for Portugal, who bounced back from a loss to Russia the previous weekend to beat the Czech Republic 23-3 away in Ricany. However while Portugal do not move from their 21st position, they do improve their ranking by 0.63 points to 62.03.

The IRB Pacific Nations Cup and European Nations Cup were not the only competitions to have an affect on the IRB World Rankings though, with Chinese Taipei recording two victories within the space of a week in Division 4 of the Asian Nations Series.

Chinese Taipei overpowered Pakistan 72-3 in Bangkok on Wednesday, before battling past their hosts Thailand 22-3 on Sunday. The victories see them climb one place to 41st, while Thailand fall two places to 74th with defeat.

The next seven days could see plenty more nations on the move with a packed calendar, including the IRB Pacific Nations Cup, European Nations Cup, Asian Nations Series, Africa Cup, Elgon Cup and the first summer internationals.


365 Digital

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