All Blacks staring SIXTH ranking spot in the face

Kieran Read (Getty)
Kieran Read (Getty)

Cape Town - So troubled have recent times been for the once feared All Blacks that they face the very real possibility of plummeting to SIXTH spot in the World Rugby standings when the next round of rankings are released.

READ | Have you ever seen the All Blacks this badly beaten stats-wise?

Reeling on the back of a 47-26 thrashing at the hands of the Wallabies in Perth last Saturday, the All Blacks have just seven days to turn a 21-point defeat into a victory.

Failing that, the All Blacks will not only relinquish the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 17 years, but will also tumble to fourth in the world - at best.

While a defeat of between 1-15 points will see New Zealand drop to fourth, a 16-point loss (or worse) will see them ranked sixth.

While rankings don't decide World Cup winners, they do send a clear signal of the enormity of the task Steve Hansen's men face in defending the Webb Ellis Cup, particular as so many other sides are finding form at the perfect time.

A home win for Wales (by any points margin) over England on Saturday will see them (the Welsh) assume the No 1 spot regardless of the result at Eden Park in Auckland.

A 16-point (or more) victory for England will see Eddie Jones' men take over the top ranking.

The Springboks v Argentina 'Farewell Test' in Pretoria will have no bearing on the top spot, nor will the France v Scotland showdown.

Top 20 in the latest World Rugby rankings:

1. New Zealand 89.04
2. Wales 88.89
3. Ireland 88.69
4. England 87.34
5. South Africa 86.83
6. Australia 84.41
7. Scotland 80.17
8. France 79.42
9. Japan 77.21
10. Fiji 76.98
11. Argentina 76.29
12. Georgia 74.42
13. Italy 72.04
14. USA 71.93
15. Tonga 71.49
16. Samoa 69.08
17. Spain 68.15
18. Romania 66.69
19. Uruguay 65.18
20. Russia 64.81

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