Boks wary of rankings slump
August 17, 2012
Bismarck du Plessis will act as vice-captain tomorrow © Getty Images
Argentina will take their historic bow in the Rugby Championship tomorrow and a shock win over the Springboks could give the International Rugby Board rankings a huge shake-up.
If the Pumas manage to down South Africa at Newlands on Saturday, then it could well have a big effect on the 2015 World Cup draw. The top four sides in the IRB rankings come December will be seeded and South Africa currently sit third - with New Zealand first and Australia second.
However, if the Pumas win, then South Africa could potentially slip two or three places. England currently sit pretty in fourth with France fifth but if the Pumas win by a margin of less than 15 points, then the Boks will move to fifth. If Argentina manage to get a convincing victory of more than 15 points then South Africa would slip to sixth. The impact on Argentina's rankings, if they win, would see them move up to seventh.
Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is fully aware of the threat the Pumas pose and he is relishing the chance to run out against the Championship newcomers. "It will be nice to have a different team to play against and new opponents to square up to," he said. "There is a lot of respect between us and them and a healthy rivalry on the rugby field. South Africa helped develop Argentine rugby, so it is fitting that we play them first in the Championship."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September