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Ireland vs All Blacks to decide the best rugby team on the planet

Roar Rookie
2nd November, 2018
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Roar Rookie
2nd November, 2018
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​If there are any All Black rugby fans anxious about the IRB World Rugby Rankings, this is their time to suffer. When the All Blacks enter the tunnel at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 17th November, it will be to face a true challenger.

New Zealand’s domination of the entire rugby world has kept them at the summit of the rankings for almost a decade. Now Ireland look able to take their place at the top.

Ireland will not achieve it this this time around. Not unless Eddie Jones pulls off a miracle and England win their tie at Twickenham on 10th November, and Ireland then win the following Saturday.

Provided the All Blacks win one of these ties, their position is safe for the moment. In fact the Autumn Series is a chance for the All Blacks to re-establish that formidable gap at the top because beating England and Ireland will yield considerable ranking points (unlike the Rugby Championship where New Zealand were too far ahead of their opposition to gain much). They can send Ireland tumbling back down to a respectable distance. New Zealand could go home with the kind of advantage over the rest of the world that they have grown accustomed to.

Richie Mo'unga of the All Blacks

Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Perhaps a more realistic scenario is that the All Blacks beat England at Twickenham but lose to Ireland in Dublin a week later. If this happens New Zealand will limp home with a one rankings-point lead over Ireland in the rankings.

The celebrations in Dublin will be for more than a one-off victory over the All Blacks; it becomes a practical certainty that Ireland will take the number one spot in the rankings over the course of the Six Nations competition in early 2019.

The Aviva game decides which is the greatest rugby team on the planet.

NZ are beaten by both England and Ireland
Before ‘Autumn Internationals’
After ‘Autumn Internationals’
1 New Zealand 92.96 | 1 Ireland 90.95
2 Ireland 90.12 | 2 New Zealand 90.55
3 Wales 85.94 | 3 Wales 86.70
4 England 85.68 | 4 England 85.74
5 South Africa 83.52 | 5 South Africa 84.93
6 Scotland 83.02 | 6 Australia 82.50

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NZ beat both England and Ireland in the Autumn Series
Before ‘Autumn Internationals’
After ‘Autumn Internationals’
1 New Zealand 92.96 | 1 New Zealand 94.35
2 Ireland 90.12 | 2 Ireland 89.15
3 Wales 85.94 | 3 Wales 86.70
4 England 85.68 | 4 South Africa 84.93
5 South Africa 83.52 | 5 England 83.74
6 Scotland 83.02 | 6 Australia 82.50

England rugby union coach Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones – what can he do against the All Blacks? (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

NZ beat England and lose to Ireland
Before ‘Autumn Internationals’
After ‘Autumn Internationals’
1 New Zealand 92.96 | 1 New Zealand 92.35
2 Ireland 90.12 | 2 Ireland 91.15
3 Wales 85.94 | 3 Wales 86.70
4 England 85.68 | 4 South Africa 84.93
5 South Africa 83.52 | 5 England 83.74
6 Scotland 83.02 | 6 Australia 82.50

NZ beat England but lose to Ireland by more than 15 points
Before ‘Autumn Internationals’
After ‘Autumn Internationals’
1 New Zealand 92.96 | 1 New Zealand 91.84
2 Ireland 90.12 | 2 Ireland 91.66
3 Wales 85.94 | 3 Wales 86.70
4 England 85.68 | 4 South Africa 84.93
5 South Africa 83.52 | 5 England 83.74
6 Scotland 83.02 | 6 Australia 82.50