Sunday 22 September 2019

Ireland can go top of the World Rankings with victory over England at Twickenham

Garry Ringrose scores against England during the last Twickenham meeting
Garry Ringrose scores against England during the last Twickenham meeting

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Ireland have been handed extra motivation for beating England at Twickenham tomorrow after World Rugby confirmed they will go top the top of the World Rankings for the first time with a victory of any kind.

Wales last week rose to the summit of the rankings after their win over Eddie Jones' side, but their reign may last just seven days if Joe Schmidt's men can beat the old enemy.

Currently third in the rankings behind Wales and New Zealand, Ireland would only drop below England if they were to lose by 15 points or more. A win of any kind would see Jones' men move up from fifth to fourth, leap-frogging South Africa.

Ireand won 24-15 to claim the Grand Slam on their last visit to London, although England reversed that result with a comprehensive win in Dublin last February.

While a place on top of the rankings would be another piece of history for Ireland's most successful coach, his focus will be on the performance of his leading players and, in particular, Ross Byrne who makes his first start.

And he'd likely swap No 1 place for a clean bill of health at the end of what promises to be a bruising encounter.

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