England and Ireland secured valuable ranking points over the weekend.
When Eddie Jones was appointed England coach, he vowed to make his new side the number one team in the World. With the Red Rose ranked 8th after the conclusion of the World Cup, the task facing Jones seemed stark.
Such was the mood in the immediate aftermath of the tournament, some even imagined a scenario unfolding in which England would miss out on a seeding at the 2019 World Cup.
However, after leading his side to the Grand Slam and securing a massive victory over Australia last weekend, Eddie Jones has turned England’s fortunes around, as they now find themselves ranked third.
Not only that, but if England were to win the three match test series against the Wallabies, they could overtake Australia in second position.
While England’s victory in Brisbane was important in it’s own right, Ireland’s unlikely win against the Springbok’s was vital.
Although Joe Schmidt’s side were ranked third before the World Cup, a quarter final defeat to Argentina and an underwhelming Six Nations left Ireland seventh, and clinging onto a their place in the game’s top eight nations.
As a result, Schmidt was under pressure to secure a least one win in South Africa, and claim a scalp against either New Zealand or Australia in the Autumn.
Despite the fact that Ireland remain in seventh position, they are now looking at the possibility of rising further up the rankings, rather than looking over their shoulder’s at Scotland and France.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena