Six nations improved their position in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini as a result of this weekend’s Rugby Europe Men’s Championship 2024 semi-finals.

Germany have climbed into the world’s top 30 for the first since last March after overcoming a Belgium side that had gone into the game six places higher and over five points better off than them.

The Black Eagles came away from Waterloo with a 21-11 win, their first success against Belgium since 2017.

It was a bitterly disappointing result for Belgium who were on the right side of an upset a month ago when they beat Portugal 10-6, arguably their best-ever victory, and were only denied a shot at the title after missing out on second place in Pool B to Romania on the head-to-head rule.

Having had the tables turned on them, Belgium are now just one place and 1.51 points ahead of Germany in the rankings.

Switzerland, the Netherlands and Brazil all benefitted from Belgium’s three-place drop, each moving up a place.

The Netherlands’ chances of improving their position were dependent on them beating Poland as well as a defeat for Belgium, and the Dutch obliged with a 54-7 victory in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands and Germany will now compete against each other for fifth place on finals day in Paris on Sunday, 17 March, while the two beaten sides, Belgium and Poland will play off for seventh place.

Poland only had a third of a point knocked off their rating but that still resulted in them falling a couple of places, with Czechia and Kenya profiting from their defeat.

The final will be a repeat of last year’s showpiece in Badajoz after Georgia and Portugal overcame Romania and Spain in their semi-finals.

Georgian profligacy in attack meant the Lelos only held a slim 10-0 lead at half-time but they eventually powered to a 43-5 victory, winger Akaki Tabutsadze once again demonstrating his brilliant finishing ability with a hat-trick.

In Sunday’s semi-final, Portugal trailed their Iberian rivals Spain for the majority of the first hour but Os Lobos managed to find a way to win, edging Los Leones 33-30 in a match that had RugbyPass TV viewers enthralled throughout.

Neither result had any impact on the rankings due to the large points difference between the opposing sides going into the match.

Photo credit: Rugby Europe