Switzerland took another big step towards securing the Rugby Europe Men’s Trophy 2023-24 title and probable promotion to the Rugby Europe Men’s Championship 2025, with a fourth straight victory this season in Yverdon-les-Bains on Saturday.

The 35-10 victory over Croatia means that only Sweden can now catch them at the top with both title contenders each having a game against bottom-of-the-table Ukraine to come.

Sweden are first up and go into the game knowing that anything less than a bonus-point win in Trelleborg on 6 April will effectively hand the trophy to Switzerland, who face the same opponents a week later in Zurich.

While Switzerland’s win over Croatia puts them four points clear of Sweden in the standings, it will not have any impact on their ranking or rating in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, so they remain in 26th on 57.44 points.

Sweden’s 27-8 win over Lithuania, however, will come with a reward once the rankings are officially updated at noon (GMT), the 1.33 points gained sufficient for them to climb above Kenya and into 33rd place.

It brought Lithuania’s campaign to a disappointing conclusion as they'll fall seven places in the rankings to 52nd and are still in danger of relegation if Ukraine can find a win from somewhere.

The other game of the weekend ended in a 48-18 win for Czechia against Ukraine. It put Czechia second in the Trophy standings, three points behind Switzerland. But with no matches left to play, their title hopes are over and, instead, they'll have to be content with a climb of two places to 35th in the rankings.

With an improved rating of 50.98 points, Czechia will move above both Uganda and Poland, while Ukraine will drop down a couple of places to 55th.

Photo credit: Neil Dodd / Rugby Europe