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Power Rankings after Round 4 of the Autumn Nations Series

Power Rankings after Round 4 of the Autumn Nations Series

Power Rankings after Round 4 of the Autumn Nations Series

Round 4 of the Autumn Nations Series produced two excellent matches and shook up our Power Rankings even more.

Australia rise after their win over Wales, while South Africa’s 27-13 victory over England has seen Eddie Jones’ plummet down the pecking order.

As the Autumn Nations Series is wrapped up, let’s have a final look at the international rankings for this year.

1.       Ireland (=) 

There is very little to separate the top two but Ireland sit just ahead at the top with credit in the bank after their historic series win over New Zealand in the summer.

An autumn clean sweep over South Africa, Fiji and Australia allied to a Triple Crown means that Ireland finish the year with nine wins from 11 matches, with Andy Farrell’s men poised to make history next year.

2.       France (=) 

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France have enjoyed a stellar unbeaten year but they were pipped to the post thanks to Ireland taking down on all the big three and France just two.

France took the Grand Slam in style, scooped their series in Japan, blooded in in new players and also came through the autumn unscathed – making it a perfect 10 from 10 and 13 wins in a row.

3.       South Africa (=) 

South Africa would have expected to rise with a win over England but with the years that Ireland and France have had, they have to settle for third place.

It was a performance that showed South Africa at their powerful, physically dominant best, bullying the English pack into submission with a backline that can both play the territory game and turn it on when needed.

Kurt-Lee Arendse’s seventh try in six Tests wrote him into Springbok folklore, joining Danie Gerber and Chester Williams by scoring in his sixth consecutive Test.

4.       New Zealand (=) 

The All Blacks’ campaign ended last week with their 25-25 draw with England, but wins over Wales and Scotland mean that they too enjoyed an unbeaten Autumn Nations Series.

Defeats on home soil to both Argentina and Ireland brought scrutiny on Ian Foster and his side but they are now seven matches unbeaten, heading into a World Cup year with momentum.

5.       Australia (+2)  

It has been an Autumn Nations Series of near misses for the Wallabies, coming so close to victories against France (30-29) and Ireland (13-10), sandwiched by 28-27 defeat to Italy.

But having already defeated Scotland 16-15 in the Autumn Nations Series opener, they finished by downing a Wales side reeling from defeat to Georgia the week before.

It was hardly the ideal scenario for Dave Rennie’s side when they found themselves 34-13 down after 50 minutes but thanks to a brace from Mark Nawaqanitawase, one of the year’s biggest breakout stars, a penalty try and Lachlan Lonergan’s last-gasp score, Australia completed a remarkable comeback.

Mark Nawaqanitawase

Despite losing three of their five Autumn Nations Series clashes, the Wallabies rise two places after a hugely resilient win, showcasing the strength in depth they have and proving that on any given day, they can beat anyone.

6.       Italy (=) 

The Azzurri stay exactly where they are following a hugely promising Autumn Nations Series in which they eased past Samoa with a 49-17 win, before making history with a first-ever win over Australia.

A heavy defeat to South Africa followed but having also won for the first time away to Wales and defeating Romania for the first time since 1991, this was a year with far more positives than negatives for Kieran Crowley and his men.

2022 Autumn Nations Series, Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy 12/11/2022 Italy vs Australia Italy’s Ange Capuozzo scores a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

7.       Scotland (+1) 

After England’s defeat and performance against South Africa, Scotland improve one place despite not kicking a ball last weekend.

They won two of four, pushing the Wallabies and the All Blacks all the way but not quite overcoming them, and then defeating Fiji and Argentina with relative ease, which sees them stay seventh.

8.       England (-3) 

Losing three places for a defeat to the world champions may seem a tad melodramatic, but this was not a narrow defeat and there are serious questions about where England are heading at the moment.

South Africa were rarely troubled, even when down to 14 men for most of the second half, with a 30-29 defeat to Argentina also impossible to ignore.

England’s sole win of the Series came against Japan in a routine 52-13 win leaves Eddie Jones with a lot to fix in a short space of time. It was England’s worst year of results since 2008, and sees them drop three places in these rankings.

9.       Argentina (=) 

It was a strange year by all accounts for Los Pumas, defeating England at Twickenham for the first time since 2006 and beating New Zealand for the first time ever on Kiwi soil as well as a thumping win over Australia.

But a heavy defeat to Scotland and a 20-13 loss to Wales in the Autumn Nations Series raise concern about their consistency, meaning they haven’t shown enough to climb the rankings.

10.   Wales (=) 

Wales finally showed the free-flowing rugby that fans craved in the first 50 minutes of their clash with Australia.

They scored four tries and opened Australia up but Justin Tipuric’s yellow card saw them blow a 21-point lead and lose 39-34.

Aside from their Argentina victory and the performances of the likes of Jac Morgan and Rio Dyer, it was an autumn to forget for Wales.

11.   Georgia (=) 

It was a year of history for the Lelos, beating Italy and Wales for the first time and in Danit Niniashvili they have one of the most exciting talents on the planet.

They will face Wales again at the World Cup, as well as Australia, Fiji and Portugal, and from their perspective it will be a case of at least finishing third to gain automatic qualification to 2027, with a first tilt at a quarter-final not beyond them.

12.   Samoa (=) 

Samoa were not involved this weekend, but they ended up winning two of their three matches this autumn.

A heavy defeat to Italy was not the optimum start to the campaign, but they did then win two on the bounce, beating Georgia 20-19 and Romania 22-0.

13.   Fiji (=) 

The Flying Fijians were defeated in both of their Autumn Nations Series matches against Scotland and Ireland, but they showed glimpses of what they can do with the ball, scoring some quality tries.

They did succeed against the French Barbarians, to at least register one win, but in all honesty it is hard to judge where Fiji are at.

14.   Japan (=) 

Japan still have some of their spark left over from the 2019 Rugby World Cup but it could not see them to any victories, losing against both England and France by fairly large margins.

Naoto Saito caught the eye with a well-taken try against France, but on the whole it was a learning curve for the Brave Blossoms.


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