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World rankings: Springboks risk top spot, All Blacks face historic low: Planet Rugby

South Africa will lose top spot in the world rugby rankings if the Springboks suffer a heavy defeat against Ireland – while the All Blacks could slip to an all-time low.

Test rugby is back in full swing this weekend as the northern hemisphere nations head south, which could have a significant impact on the rankings.

The two best-ranked teams in the world meet in Pretoria this weekend, with the title of world number one on the line, but Ireland would need a notable win to overtake the world champions.

However, if Steve Borthwick's English team manages to pull off a major surprise, it could see New Zealand slip to an equally low level in the rankings.

Here are the permutations of the weekend.

South Africa could lose top spot

Regardless of Saturday's result, Ireland will remain among the top two teams in the world, but a convincing win over the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld could see them return to the top of the world rankings.

Andy Farrell's team would need to beat Rassie Erasmus's side by more than 15 points to swap places with the two-time world champions, otherwise they would remain in second place.

A win of any kind would be only Ireland's second victory over the Boks in South Africa and if it comes by 15 points or less they will reduce the scoring gap to 0.49 points going into the second Test.

However, a narrow win for the hosts would mean they could extend their lead to 4.49, while a win by more than 15 points would see them gain 95 rating points and move 4.79 points ahead of Ireland.

Preview Springboks vs Ireland: “Bomb Squad” helps the world champions to another “tough win” and ends the Irish curse

Meanwhile, New Zealand have too much ground to make up to overtake Ireland, even if they were to secure a clear victory over England.

However, Scott Robertson's side could slip to fifth, their lowest ranking yet, if England win by more than 15 points and France draw or win their first friendly against Los Pumas in Argentina.

If England win by a smaller margin and France lose to the Pumas, then the Red Roses will swap places with the All Blacks.

Like New Zealand, Scotland cannot improve on their sixth-place finish by beating Canada, but could still slip one place if Argentina beat France by more than 15 points.

READ MORE: All Blacks vs England preview: “Genius” Scott Robertson starts his reign with a narrow win against the talented English team

Rugby World Ranking as of 1 July 2024

1 South Africa 94.54
2 Ireland 90.69
3 New Zealand 89.80
4 France 87.92
5. England 85.97
6 Scotland 82.82
7 Argentina 80.68
8 Italy 79.41
9 Australia 77.48
10 Wales 77.26
11 Fiji 76.38
12 Japan 74.02
13 Georgia 74.02
14 Samoa 72,23
15 Tonga 71.57
16 Portugal 70.28
17 USA 67.94
18 Uruguay 67.39
19 Spain 64.37
20 Romania 61.66