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Australia tour 2012 / News
2015 Rugby World Cup
Wales face crunch clash with Australia
ESPN Staff
November 26, 2012
Wales boss Warren Gatland faces the media, Vale Resort, Hensol, Wales, November 20, 2012
Wales boss Warren Gatland must conjure a big performance from his side if they are to avoid a nightmare Rugby World Cup draw © PA Photos
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Wales must avoid defeat against Australia at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday if they are to avoid a nightmare pool draw at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Defeats to Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand during a disastrous end of year campaign have seen Wales' International Rugby Board ranking slump and as a result they are on the verge of slipping into the third band of seeds for next month's World Cup draw.

A win or a draw against Australia would see them retain their place in the second band of seeds but another reverse will see them fall yet further and ensure they will have to play two of the sides ranked in the top eight in the pool stages of the next World Cup.

Victories for the top four sides in the world on Saturday guaranteed their top seeding with New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France set to be kept apart in the early stages of the World Cup.

Ireland secured their place in the second group of seeds with victory over Argentina last weekend and England are also assured of their place in that bracket despite their defeat to South Africa. They will be joined by Samoa who made history this week by becoming the first Tier 2 nation to climb into the top eight in the world rankings. All three must accept that they will be drawn alongside one of the top four seeds.

Defeat for Wales would also be good news for Argentina. The Pumas' defeat to Ireland saw them fall to 9th in the ranking but a Wallabies victory in Cardiff would see them reclaim a place in the top eight and condemn the Welsh to a perilously difficult pool draw.

If the Pool Allocation Draw was to happen today (26 November), the bands would be as follows:

Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Ireland, Wales, Samoa
Band 3: Argentina, Italy, Tonga, Scotland
Band 4: Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1, Americas 1
Band 5: Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Repechage winner

Only four automatically qualified teams are in action this weekend. Below is a table of exactly how this weekend's results could affect the automatically qualified teams' ratings points.

England v New Zealand, Twickenham
Current rating: England 81.07; New Zealand 92.91
If home team wins by more than 15 points: Eng 83.90; NZ 90.08
If home team wins by 15 points or less: Eng 82.95; NZ 91.03
If away team wins by 15 points or less: Eng 80.95; NZ 93.03
If away team wins by more than 15 points: Eng 80.90; NZ 93.08
If it's a tie: Eng 81.95; NZ 92.03

Wales v Australia, Cardiff
Current rating: Wales 78.95; Australia 86.31
If home team wins by more than 15 points: Wal 81.11; Aus 84.16
If home team wins by 15 points or less: Wal 80.39; Aus 84.87
If away team wins by 15 points or less: Wal 78.39; Aus 86.87
If away team wins by more than 15 points: Wal 78.11; Aus 87.16
If it's a tie: Wal 79.39; Aus 85.87

Current ranking:
1. (1) New Zealand 92.91
2. (2) South Africa 86.94
3. (3) Australia 86.31
4. (4) France 85.07
5. (5) England 81.07
6. (7) Ireland 80.22
7. (8) Wales 78.95
8. (9) Samoa 78.71
9. (6) Argentina 78.71
10. (11) Italy 76.24
11. (12) Tonga 76.10
12. (10) Scotland 75.83

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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