World Rugby Women’s Rankings history could be made this weekend

Canada will replace New Zealand in second place if they beat the Black Ferns – who have never been outside the top two – for the first time in history this weekend.

The World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2024 continues this weekend with plenty on the line regarding Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and WXV qualification as well as the destiny of this year’s title.

Australia take on USA in the opening fixture in Melbourne on Friday before reigning champions New Zealand play Canada in a top-of-the-table encounter in Christchurch on Sunday.

Both matches also count towards the World Rugby Women’s Rankings and Canada will not only win the Pacific Four Series for the first time with an historic victory over the Black Ferns but also gain ground for the second consecutive round of fixtures.

Last week Canada’s 33-14 victory over Australia lifted Kévin Rouet’s side above France into third and they can improve on that again with a first-ever victory over New Zealand.

It is nearly eight years since Canada occupied second place with England and New Zealand monopolising the top two positions since November 2016, but that is the additional prize on offer this weekend.

A narrow win would see Canada sit 0.17 rating points above New Zealand but victory by more than 15 points would result in that gap becoming as wide as 1.73 points.

A first-ever defeat for New Zealand in 18 matches against Canada would see them drop out of the top two for the first time since the World Rugby Women’s Rankings were introduced in February 2016.

New Zealand can improve their rating in victory, but with a maximum of 0.59 points on offer they have no chance of catching the world’s number one team England.

In Friday’s match, Australia are unable to improve their rating with victory over USA due to the 7.79 points difference between the teams before home weighting is factored in.

However, victory would ensure qualification for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and WXV 1 2024 for the Wallaroos.

The Wallaroos cannot fall from fifth as a loss by more than 15 points would still leave them 1.37 points better off than Scotland below them.

The Women’s Eagles, who are currently at their lowest-ever position of 10th, will climb one place to ninth with a draw, while victory will lift them three places to seventh with Wales, Italy and Ireland all falling a place.

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 is coming to England. Register now to be the first to hear about tickets.

Last updated: May 17, 2024, 12:45:32 PM
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