Ireland have lost seven Women’s Six Nations matches in a row and an eighth could lead to them equalling their lowest-ever position in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

Last year’s Women’s Six Nations whitewash has been followed by two consecutive defeats in the 2024 Championship, against France and Italy.

With only marginal gains made in their triumphant WXV 3 campaign in between, they are one place and 2.13 points worse off than this time last year, residing in 10th.

Ireland have a golden opportunity to end that run in Cork this weekend, though, as they come up against Wales, the only team below them in the standings, with each team on one match point apiece and separated only by points difference.

Ireland will remain 10th even if they beat Wales by more than 15 points as that would only cut the deficit to the USA above them to 0.23.

But a defeat of that nature would see them drop out of the top 10, equalling their lowest-ever ranking of 11th. They occupied this position for two weeks last October. 

Wales cannot improve on eighth place in their own right as a third straight victory over Ireland will not be enough in isolation, they need Scotland to also lose at home to England in the weekend's first match.

In this instance, Wales will replace Scotland in seventh, still one place below where they started the Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024.

Should Wales lose to Ireland for the first time since 2021 it would not have any detrimental impact on their position in the rankings.

Hive of activity

Scotland’s record seven-match winning run ended with their 15-5 home defeat to France in round two.

But if they can bounce back from that setback and end England’s record-winning run of 26 matches in the Women’s Six Nations at a sold-out Hive Stadium, they will be rewarded with sixth place in the rankings as long as Italy don’t beat France in Sunday’s game.

England cannot improve their rating this weekend as they won’t be awarded any points in victory against Scotland due to the 20.38-point differential between the teams.

The Red Roses currently have a 5.62 rating point cushion over New Zealand at the top of the rankings. However, that could be cut by up to three points if beaten by Scotland.

Italy have lost all 12 of their previous away matches against France and they cannot climb the rankings even if their luck changes at the 13th time of asking.

Even a victory by more than 15 points – which they have only achieved once – would still leave them trailing Australia above by 2.11 rating points.

France, like England, cannot gain any points for beating Italy due to the 11.50 points that separate the teams before home weighting is factored in. They will, however, slip below Canada into fourth in defeat.

The Rugby Europe Women’s Championship 2024 runs its course in Trelleborg this weekend as defending champions Spain visit Sweden.

Las Leonas only need a point from the match to secure a seventh consecutive title, while also confirming their place in WXV. A play-off with the team that finishes bottom of the Women’s Six Nations standings will determine whether the Championship winners participate in WXV 2 or WXV 3.

With only marginal points on offer for a Spain win, Las Leonas cannot improve on their ranking of 13th if they come away from Sweden as champions.

Nor are there enough points on offer for Sweden to catch Kazakhstan and improve on 20th place if they can cause a massive upset. They will remain at least 0.26 points behind the Asian side in victory.