Big weekend for World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini

We take a look at how this weekend’s opening round of matches in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024 and the international between Spain and South Africa could affect the rankings.

In-form Scotland go into this weekend’s opening round of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024 with the possibility of making further ground in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

Looking to build on their WXV 2 title in South Africa last October, Scotland enter Europe’s premier women’s tournament in fine fettle.

Under head coach Bryan Easson, they are on a six-match winning run – their best streak in just over two decades – and will be hoping to start off this year as they finished the last one.

A first win over Wales on Welsh soil in two decades would be the perfect launchpad for them to better last year’s fourth-place finish and would also take them above Wales in the rankings, potentially to a new all-time high of sixth.

For that to happen, Scotland need to win by more than 15 points and hope that the form book plays out as expected and five-time defending champions England don’t slip up against Italy in the final fixture of the opening weekend.

While they will drop two places in defeat, Wales can't improve on their position in the rankings – currently an all-time high of sixth – if they maintain their good record against Scotland, as there are not enough points on offer for them to catch Australia.

The same applies to France who host Ireland in Le Mans in the opening match of the tournament. Les Bleues, however, will be replaced in third by Canada if they lose at home to last year’s wooden spoonists.

France are on a six-game winning run against Ireland, dating back to a 13-10 loss in 2017, and have scored 40 points or more in each of the last four meetings, so the odds are stacked heavily in their favour.

However, if Ireland do pull off one of the biggest shocks in Women’s Six Nations history and beat Les Bleues, or even just draw against them, they will climb above the USA and into ninth. They could gain another place depending on the victory margin and the outcome of Wales v Scotland.

England can’t increase their 5.61-point advantage over New Zealand at the top of the rankings as they are playing an Italian side more 20 rating points worse off than them. And such is the size of their cushion over the Black Ferns, the Red Roses will retain their position as the world’s number one side even in defeat.

Away from the Women’s Six Nations, Spain’s match against South Africa in Valladolid could be the tightest of the lot given the respective ranking of the teams. 

With just one place and 0.52 separating Spain in 12th and South Africa in 13th, whoever wins the match between the two teams will end the weekend with the higher ranking. A draw would also be enough to lift South Africa above their hosts.

Last updated: Mar 22, 2024, 4:29:34 PM
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