21st November 08:58 AM
All Blacks on guard as Ireland threaten their nine-year reign at top of world rankings
By Semi Turaga
Tuesday 09/10/2018
Kieran Read is the only All Blacks captain to lose to Ireland after being beaten in Chicago two years ago[Photo:Stuff.co.nz]

The All Blacks will need to be on full guard to defend their ridiculously long reign at the top of the World Rugby rankings on their end of year tour.

If Steve Hansen's side are looking for an assignment to replicate next year's World Cup pressure in Japan, then retaining their No 1 ranking in November looks ideal.

Despite claiming another Rugby Championship the All Blacks are probably as vulnerable as they ever have been during their nine years at the top of World Rugby's official list.

Joe Schmidt's Six Nations champions Ireland have a sniff of a chance of beating New Zealand if a couple of scenarios play out their way.

For Ireland to get to No 1, they would need the All Blacks to drop a test against Australia in Tokyo or against England in London. They would then need to beat the All Blacks in Dublin on November 18.

LATEST WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS

1. New Zealand 92.96

2. Ireland 90.12

3. Wales 85.94

4. England 85.68

5. South Africa 83.52

6. Scotland 83.02

7. Australia 82.86

8. France 79.10

9. Argentina 78.01

10. Fiji 76.54

11. Japan 75.24

12. Tonga 73.84

13. Georgia 73.13

14. Italy 72.56

15. USA 71.66

16. Samoa 68.28

17. Romania 68.25

18. Uruguay 65.37

19. Russia 64.89

20. Spain 63.09

[Source:Stuff.co.nz]

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