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Defeats for England and Australia have seen Ireland equal their highest ever position of third in the latest IRB world rankings, a position the men in green have not occupied since November 2006. According to the official IRB website, Ireland did not improve their rating by beating 15th ranked Georgia 49-7 at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, but the points lost by England and Australia as a result of defeats by South Africa and France respectively led to the changes.

The Irish now have a cushion of 0.62 points from Australia, who avoided a two-place fall to fifth by the smallest of margins after a 29-26 loss to France in Paris with the Wallabies sitting just one hundredth of a point above England now. South Africa’s 31-28 win at Twickenham has strengthened their position of second place – some five points clear of Ireland – and closed the gap to New Zealand by nearly one point, although the All Blacks still sit 3.77 points clear at the top. New Zealand did not improve their rating on the back of a 24-16 win over eighth ranked Scotland at Murrayfield on a weekend which saw the world champions celebrate five years as the No 1 side in the rankings.

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