Source: Justin Tafoya - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

World Rugby Women’s Rankings

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 World Rugby has published the ranking permutations for the women’s internationals in Europe and Africa this weekend.

Permutation highlights:

  • England cannot improve their rating with victory over Canada due to the 8.11 points between the teams before home weighting is factored in
  • A win of any description for Canada will lift them to second if New Zealand lose by more than 15 points against France. A win by more than 15 points is necessary if the Black Ferns lose by less
  • The Black Ferns have never been ranked outside the top two since the rankings were introduced in February 2016
  • New Zealand’s deficit to England is now 3.96 points after back-to-back defeats, but it could be slashed to as little as 0.15 points if the Black Ferns win by more than 15 points and England lose by the same margin
  • France cannot improve on fourth place with victory over New Zealand, but could cut the deficit to Canada above from 3.44 rating points to only 1.25 points
  • Ireland will climb above Italy into seventh if they beat USA, but must win by more than 15 points to become the higher ranked of the two nations
  • In this scenario, USA will also drop below Italy into eighth
  • USA can equal their highest ever position of fifth if they beat Ireland by more than 15 points, a margin that would lift them above Australia
  • Wales cannot improve their rating with victory over South Africa due to the 7.63 points between the teams before home weighting is factored in
  • South Africa must win by more than 15 points and Japan lose by the same margin for those sides to swap places
  • Scotland cannot improve their rating with victory over Japan due to the 7.99 points between the teams before home weighting is factored in
  • The Scots will drop below Spain if they lose to Japan
  • Japan can only improve on 12th place if they win by more than 15 points and Wales are beaten by the same margin in Cardiff


Match officials:

  • Sara Cox (England) takes charge of USA for the first time in what is the first women’s international to be played at the RDS in Dublin
  • Clara Munarini (Italy) will referee Wales for the second weekend running, having also overseen their 23-5 victory against Japan
  • Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa) refereed New Zealand in their first defeat to England this window and made her Springbok Women’s debut against France in a 17-17 draw in 2009
  • Hollie Davidson (Scotland) takes charge of Canada for the first time but has refereed England five times, including in the Women’s Six Nations final in April
  • Nikki O’Donnell (England) will take charge of a match involving a non-European team for only the second time when she referees Scotland v Japan in Edinburgh

Team news highlights:

  • Ireland captain Ciara Griffin will make her 40th appearance for her country in a much-changed line-up to that beaten by Scotland in September to end their Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification hopes
  • USA have also made a number of changes, some enforced due to injury or the return of Alev Kelter and Ilona Maher to the sevens programme ahead of the start of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series later this month
  • Wales will be without Jasmine Joyce due to Great Britain Sevens duty as Ioan Cunningham makes seven personnel changes to his starting line-up
  • South Africa have made only one change to their starting line-up with the experienced Zenay Jordaan returning at fly-half after missing the France defeat due to a stomach bug
  • France have made nine personnel changes for the first test against New Zealand with second-row Audrey Forlani to win her 50th cap
  • New Zealand, England, Canada, Scotland and Japan are yet to name their line-ups

With thanks to World Rugby