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Power Rankings at the conclusion of the Summer Nations Series

Power Rankings at the conclusion of the Summer Nations Series

Power Rankings at the conclusion of the Summer Nations Series

The Summer Nations Series is now wrapped up and on-field Rugby World Cup preparations are concluded, with varying results.

An incredible final weekend began with Fiji’s historic triumph over England at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon and finished in Paris as France laid down yet another marker with a statement win over Australia. 

Meanwhile, Italy put on another show against Japan in Treviso, defeating the Brave Blossoms 42-21 thanks to a Monty Ioane hat-trick, while Scotland defeated Georgia 33-6 and Ireland came from behind to beat Samoa in Bayonne.

And with the Summer Nations Series officially over, we look at the Power Rankings with less than a fortnight to go until action gets underway in France.

1.       South Africa (+1) 

The Springboks were not in Summer Nations Series action this week, following their 52-16 win over Wales in Round 3, but they did put in a hugely impressive showing in the Qatar Airways Cup at Twickenham.

Facing their old nemesis New Zealand on Friday night, Jacques Nienaber’s side proved their World Cup credentials with a record 35-7 victory which will only serve to enhance the belief within the South African camp that they can defend their crown.

2.       France (+1) 

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Hosts France have long been touted as one of the favourites for the World Cup and their 41-17 win over Australia did that status no harm at all.

A Damian Penaud double and tries from Gabin Villiere and Jonathan Danty, combined with the almost perfect boot of Thomas Ramos saw Les Bleus extend their home winning run to 13 matches – last losing in France in March 2021.

Such an impressive win will not have gone unnoticed by their World Cup rivals and they will begin their campaign full of confidence.

3.       Ireland (-2) 

Although victorious against Samoa, Ireland fall from top of the rankings to third, due mainly to the excellent victories of the two sides above them.

It was a difficult evening in dire conditions in the south of France, with several key players missing, but it was far from pretty for Ireland.


@autumnnationsseriesProper test match 💥♬ original sound – Autumn Nations Series ⚡️

That said, they did get the job done, fighting back from 13-7 down to eventually grind out a 17-13 win and head into the World Cup unscathed.

4.       Scotland (=) 

At half-time, it looked as though Scotland’s impressive work done against France and Italy in the first three rounds of the Summer Nations Series was going to be undone against Georgia.

Trailing 6-0 at the break, Scotland needed to up their game in the second period and did just that, a double from Duhan van der Merwe bookending an impressive five-try fightback as they earned a 33-6 win.

They are in the group of death in France but they will certainly pack a punch against South Africa and Ireland and will fancy their chances of upsetting one or both.

5.       Fiji (+4) 

After a promising showing against France a week ago, Fiji will have been encouraged heading to Twickenham and they played with their usual flair.

Impressively, this came during a heavy storm and when they took the lead early in the second half, they displayed match-winning control which has occasionally been lacking in the past.

@autumnnationsseriesFiji v England 🔥🇫🇯♬ original sound – Autumn Nations Series ⚡️

Missing world class flanker Levani Botia and terrifying winger Josua Tuisova, there is even more to add to the already tasty mixture and they have shown they are ready to repeat their 2007 heroics in France.

6.       Wales (=) 

Warren Gatland’s men were not in action this weekend, having finished their campaign against South Africa last week.

There was promise shown in the two matches against England, though they will have noted Fiji’s win over the same opponents with interest – Wales face the Flying Fijians in their Group C opener on September 10.

7.       Australia (-1) 

There were signs Eddie Jones was beginning to put his imprint on the Wallabies style of play in Paris but ultimately they suffered a fifth defeat in as many matches.

Wingers Suliasi Vunivalu and Mark Nawaqanitawase both looked dangerous throughout, while Fraser McReight and Taniela Tupou were industrious in the forward pack.


@autumnnationsseries What a game 👏👏👏 #SummerNationsSeries #FRAAUS ♬ original sound – Autumn Nations Series ⚡️

Defensively, however, questions remain. France were able to crack through them too easily, particularly in the second half, and they drop another place.

8.       Italy (=) 

A comprehensive rout of Romania last week put smiles back on Azzurri faces but they faced a tougher test when Japan came to visit.

Inspired by Ioane and Ange Capuozzo, they were able to run away with a 42-21 win over the Brave Blossoms and they will head to France with their heads held high.

@autumnnationsseriesNothing but classy tries in this game 🇯🇵💥🇮🇹♬ son original – Autumn Nations Series ⚡️

9.       England (-2) 

To say it has been a tricky Summer Nations Series for England and Steve Borthwick would be an understatement, as they slipped to a third defeat in four and a sixth defeat in Borthwick’s short reign.

There were some positives from their first-ever loss against Fiji, with Marcus Smith and Joe Marchant making an impact off the bench, but England know they will have to improve quickly upon arrival in France with Argentina, Samoa and Japan lying in wait.

10.   Samoa (=) 

Samoa came into the Summer Nations Series off the back of a second-place finish in the Pacific Nations Cup and they came ever so close to a huge upset in Bayonne.

Defensively excellent throughout, Seilala Mapusua’s side carried hard throughout against Ireland and, guided by the excellent Lima Sopoaga, they put their pressure onto the scoreboard.

Their ball carrying was also hugely impressive and they will be confident of pushing England and Argentina for a spot in the last eight in France.

11.   Georgia (=) 

It was a tale of two halves for Georgia, who were excellent in the first 40 at Scottish Gas Murrayfield before disappointing in the second half and letting in five tries.

There were of course positives, not least their defence in the first half and their scrum, but they will need to front up in defence quickly if they are to genuinely challenge for a quarter-final place.

12.   Japan (=) 

At times in Treviso, Japan looked back to their best but ultimately Italy proved too strong for them and Jamie Joseph’s side were on the end of another defeat.

Their attacking structure looked excellent but defensively there will be questions asked when they look back, while there will be worries regarding their fitness too as Italy ran in two tries in the final four minutes.

13.   Romania (=) 

Not in action in Round 4, Romania will have been putting their attention to their tough opening match against Ireland on the opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup.

Heavy defeats to both Georgia and Italy and a 31-17 loss to USA has not been ideal preparation and they bring up the rear in the final Summer Nations Series Power Rankings.


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