RWC 2023 Qualifier Spotlight: Chile
We take a look at how Los Condores rewrote history thanks to the help of a Uruguayan Rugby World Cup legend.
France’s reign as the world’s number one team has only lasted a week with Ireland replacing Les Bleus at the top of the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.
Saturday’s 32-22 series-clinching victory over the All Blacks added 1.26 rating points to Ireland's total which now stands at 90.03 points, just under two-thirds of a point more than France who are on 89.41.
It is the second time Ireland have been number one having held the position for a two-week period in September 2019, but it's the first time they have broken through the 90-point barrier since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.
Despite no end of twists and turns in the other fixtures between the best teams in the southern and northern hemispheres, that was the only positional change to the Top 10.
With no rating points on offer for their 30-14 win over Wales, South Africa remain in third, behind Ireland and France and ahead of New Zealand in fourth.
In Sydney, England defeated Australia 21-17 to ensure they remain in fifth and the Wallabies sixth, while Argentina’s last-gasp heroics in beating Scotland 34-31 did not come with any additional reward. Los Pumas stay ninth, below Scotland in seventh and Wales in eighth.
Japan were not in action this weekend but stay inside the Top 10 with a two-point buffer over Samoa who moved up two places to 11th following their 23-20 win over Fiji in the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2022 title decider.
Hosts Fiji drop to 12th with just one place between them and Georgia who backed up their historic win over Italy the week before with a 23-14 victory against Rugby World Cup 2023 hopefuls Portugal.
Tonga, whose 39-22 defeat to Australia A did not count towards the rankings, benefitted from defeats for the USA and Romania to climb up two places to 16th.
Romania are one place below the ‘Ikale Tahi following their 26-20 reverse to Uruguay in Montevideo with Los Teros up one to 18th.
Meanwhile, new Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifiers Chile are up to an all-time high of 22nd as a result of their dramatic 31-29 win over the USA in Glendale, Colorado.
The victory saw Chile wipe off the one-point deficit from the first leg in Santiago and make it through to next year’s tournament in France as Americas 2 by the slenderest of margins.
Chile’s rise has cost Canada and Namibia a place in the rankings with those two teams now 23rd and 24th respectively.