The Rugby Championship
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 EMEA Ltd
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the battle for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup glory taking centre stage
"If you listen carefully you should be able to hear them mining the granite for the statue of a certain Jonny Wilkinson" Graham Jenkins reports from the Heineken Cup Final
Quade Cooper's defence is better than it was 12 months ago and Robbie Deans has erred in omitting him from the core Wallabies squad to play the Lions, Greg Growden writes
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont