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International Rugby
Stage set for latest rankings battle
ESPN Staff
November 14, 2012
France wing Wesley Fofana makes a tackle on Australia wing Adam Ashley-Cooper, France v Australia, Stade de France, Paris, France, November 10, 2012
France upset Australia and the rankings last weekend to climb into the top four © PA Photos
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England will go into their clash with Australia on Saturday knowing that a big victory could propel them into third place in the International Rugby Board rankings and put them on course for a favourable World Cup pool draw.

The top four sides in the ranking - currently New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France - following the completion of the end of year internationals will be kept apart in the pool stages of the sport's next showpiece event with the draw scheduled for December 3 in London.

France climbed above England into fourth thanks to their comprehensive 33-6 victory over higher-ranked Australia in Paris on Saturday night. But a similar victory for England over the Wallabies at Twickenham this weekend could see Stuart Lancaster's side rise to third place in the rankings if France were to be beaten by Argentina.

A victory for both England and France would see Australia slip out of the top four and should they fail to regain their place, with further games scheduled against Italy and Wales, they face the prospect of being pooled with one of the top four at RWC'15.

An equally intriguing battle is being played out to secure a place within the second group of seeds, those placed 5th-8th, with any side falling out of that bracket set to face two of the sides above them in pool play at the 2015 tournament.

England, Wales, Argentina and Ireland currently occupy those spots but with only an Ireland XV taking on Fiji, a non-Test game that will therefore not count towards ranking points, 9th placed Scotland have a chance to usurp their celtic rivals. Any kind of victory for the Scots over South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday will see them climb above Ireland with a winning margin of more than 15 points providing the biggest possible boost.

If the Pool Allocation Draw was to happen today (14 November), the bands would be as follows:

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

Eleven of the 12 automatically qualified teams are in action this weekend, with only Ireland not playing a full international.

How this weekend's results could affect the automatically qualified teams' ratings points:

Wales v Samoa, Cardiff
Current rating: Wales (WAL) 80.60; Samoa (SAM) 77.14
If home team wins by more than 15 points: WAL 81.13; SAM 76.61
If home team wins by 15 points or less: WAL 80.95; SAM 76.79
If away team wins by 15 points or less: WAL 78.95; SAM 78.79
If away team wins by more than 15 points: WAL 78.13; SAM 79.61
If it's a tie: WAL 79.95; SAM 77.79

England v Australia, Twickenham
Current rating: England (ENG) 83.09; Australia (AUS) 84.82
If home team wins by more than 15 points: ENG 84.40; AUS 83.51
If home team wins by 15 points or less: ENG 83.96; AUS 83.94
If away team wins by 15 points or less: ENG 81.96; AUS 85.94
If away team wins by more than 15 points: ENG 81.40; AUS 86.51
If it's a tie: ENG 82.96; AUS 84.94

Scotland v South Africa, Murrayfield
Current rating: Scotland (SCO) 77.97; South Africa (RSA) 85.50
If home team wins by more than 15 points: SCO 80.15; RSA 83.32
If home team wins by 15 points or less: SCO 79.42; RSA 84.05
If away team wins by 15 points or less: SCO 77.42; RSA 86.05
If away team wins by more than 15 points: SCO 77.15; RSA 86.32
If it's a tie: SCO 78.42; RSA 85.05

Italy v New Zealand, Rome
Current rating: Italy (ITA) 76.61; New Zealand (NZL) 92.91
If home team wins by more than 15 points: ITA 79.61; NZL 89.91
If home team wins by 15 points or less: ITA 78.61; NZL 90.91
If away team wins by 15 points or less: ITA 76.61; NZL 92.91
If away team wins by more than 15 points: ITA 76.61; NZL 92.91
If it's a tie: ITA 77.97; NZL 91.91

Tonga v USA, Colwyn Bay
Current rating: Tonga (TGA) 74.22; USA 67.15
If Tonga wins by more than 15 points: TGA 74.66; USA 66.71
If Tonga wins by 15 points or less: TGA 74.51; USA 66.86
If USA wins by 15 points or less: TGA 72.51; USA 68.86
If USA wins by more than 15 points: TGA 71.66; USA 69.71
If it's a tie: TGA 73.51; USA 67.86

France v Argentina, Lille
Current rating: France (FRA) 84.58; Argentina (ARG) 80.29
If home team wins by more than 15 points: FRA 84.99; ARG 79.89
If home team wins by 15 points or less: FRA 84.85; ARG 80.02
If away team wins by 15 points or less: FRA 82.85; ARG 82.02
If away team wins by more than 15 points: FRA 81.99; ARG 82.89
If it's a tie: FRA 83.85; ARG 81.02

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