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The Springbok team to Scotland. Photo: @Springboks/X

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Rankings: How Springboks can go back to No 1 this weekend!

Ireland’s position as the leading team is under threat this weekend, especially from the Springboks, as the World Cup gets under way.

08-09-23 14:15
World Rugby Rankings
The Springbok team to Scotland. Photo: @Springboks/X

With points worth double during a Rugby World Cup, there could be some dramatic changes to the World Rugby Men’s Rankings over the coming seven weeks, and the Springboks could soon be back at the No 1 spot.

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Ireland go into their second consecutive tournament ranked at number one, but Andy Farrell’s team currently only have a slender 0.74-point lead over reigning world champions South Africa. But with no way of increasing it with a victory over the much lower-ranked Romania, they are susceptible to results elsewhere.

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The Springboks stand to gain a maximum of 0.88 points by beating Scotland by more than 15 points, a result which would take them to number one unless New Zealand win by the same margin against France in the opening match of the tournament on Friday.

In that scenario, the All Blacks would jump from fourth to first with a rating of 93.01 points. They have not been ranked number once since November 2021.

For hosts France to move back to the top for only the second time in history, Les Bleus need to beat New Zealand and hope Ireland and South Africa fail to win their Pool B matches against Romania and Scotland respectively.

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Les Bleus cannot pick up enough rating points to move to number one if Ireland or South Africa are victorious.

It is possible for Scotland to climb to second if they beat the Springboks by more than 15 points, Ireland lose, and the match between France and New Zealand ends in a draw.

Looking ahead to the World Cup, below you can find all the details for every fixture and kick-off time during the pool stages.

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Friday, Sept 8 – France v New Zealand, Stade de France, 9.15pm (SA time)

Saturday, Sept 9 – Italy v Namibia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 1pm

Saturday, Sept 9 – Ireland v Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, 3.30pm

Saturday, Sept 9 – Australia v Georgia, Stade de France, 6pm

Saturday, Sept 9 – England v Argentina, Stade de Marseille, 9pm

Sunday, Sept 10 – Japan v Chile, Stade de Toulouse, 1pm

Sunday, Sept 10 – South Africa v Scotland, Stade de Marseille, 5.45pm

Sunday, Sept 10 – Wales v Fiji, Stade de Bordeaux, 9pm

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15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 33 caps, 41 points (3t, 4c, 4pg, 2dg)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 10 caps, 55 points (11t)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 62 caps, 70 points (14t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 73 caps, 50 points (10t)
11 – Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) – 26 caps, 81 points (12t, 3c, 5pg)
10 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 9 caps, 65 points (1t, 21c, 6pg)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 49 caps, 44 points (5t, 2c, 5pg)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 23 caps, 5 points (1t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 71 caps, 35 points (7t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Racing 92) – 77 caps, 50 points (10t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 67 caps, 15 points (3t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 113 caps, 25 points (5t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 63 caps, 5 points (1t)
2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 63 caps, 85 points (17t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) – 76 caps, 10 points (2t)

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16 – Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 62 caps, 65 points (13t)
17 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 21 caps, 0 points
18 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 62 caps, 5 points (1t)
19 – RG Snyman (Munster) – 28 caps, 5 points (1t)
20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 14 caps, 0 points
21 – Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) – 70 caps, 15 points (3t)
22 – Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 5 caps, 0 points
23 – Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls) – 87 caps, 65 points (13t)

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The Springboks will defend their title at the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off this weekend. Images via Twitter: @springboks