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Red Roses out to protect number one status
We take a look at how this weekend’s matches in the first round of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations might affect the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.
With 10 of the top 13 nations taking to the field this weekend, there is plenty of scope for movement in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.
The exceptions are New Zealand, Australia and Japan as women’s international rugby looks to build on the momentum of a tremendous Rugby World Cup in New Zealand last October and November.
The TikTok Women’s Six Nations gets underway on Saturday with Wales taking on Ireland in Cardiff and defending champions England welcoming Scotland to their latest home ground, Kingston Park in Newcastle.
On Sunday, Italy and France re-enact their Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-final in Parma but with the Azzurre hoping for a better outcome.
On top of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, Madrid is the setting for two women’s internationals on Saturday.
In the first encounter, Spain meet the USA for the first time outside of a Rugby World Cup, and in the second, Canada play South Africa in a fixture that has been a decade in the waiting.
🔍 𝗜𝗻 𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 🏴— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) March 24, 2023
🏉 Captains - @MarliePacker & @sarah_hunter8
⭐️ Star Player - @AlexMatthews03
💪 Breakthrough - Ellie Rugman
Check out everything you need to know about @EnglandRugby ahead of the #TikTokW6N here ⬇️#OurCharge
England have never been beaten by Scotland in 21 TikTok Six Nations encounters and another victory would ensure their 1.10-point lead at the top of the rankings remains intact.
However, a shock win for Scotland would result in the Red Roses losing top spot to New Zealand, the side that beat them in last November's thrilling Rugby World Cup 2021 final.
In the unlikely event that they win by more than 15 points, Scotland need Wales to lose to Ireland to move up one place to ninth.
Historic high possible for Italy
With well over three rating points between themselves and New Zealand in second and a maximum of 0.30 of a point on offer for a win over Italy, France cannot improve on third place.
In fact, they are guaranteed to end the weekend there as Canada, the side immediately below them in fourth, are unable to improve their rating with victory over South Africa due to the 19.72 points between the teams.
Italy can only catch Canada and climb to a new high of fourth if they beat France by more than 15 points and Canada lose by the same margin against South Africa.
Such an outcome would result in the sides trading places with the Azzurre ending the weekend 0.18 of a point better off than Canada.
Canada are guaranteed to remain the top-ranked North American team, however, as the USA cannot move up from sixth place even with an emphatic victory over Spain.
However, the Women's Eagles will cede seventh place to Ireland if they lose and Ireland win in Wales – provided that one of the margins is by more than 15 points.
Wales will replace Ireland in eighth if they manage to back up last year’s round one 27-19 win and come out on top in the return fixture in Cardiff.
Ioan Cunningham’s side cannot drop out of the top 10 in defeat though, as Spain are unable to gain enough points by beating the USA to leapfrog a beaten Welsh team.
A draw against the USA will be enough for Spain to move back into the top 10 if accompanied by a Scottish defeat.
Meanwhile, South Africa are resigned to remaining in 13th place as a win by more than 15 points would still leave them trailing their closest rivals Japan by at least 0.44 of a point.