Wales have risen in the World Rugby rankings following their win over Italy in the Six Nations, their first move up in months.
The team had dropped to their joint lowest ever ranking of 10th in the world after being defeated by England at home.
Had they lost in Rome, they would have fallen to at least 11th, and potentially to 13th place if they had lost by more than 15 points.
However, a 29-17 bonus point victory with tries from Rio Dyer, Liam Williams, and Taulupe Faletau has seen them move back up to ninth place.
This move also secures Wales’ finish in the Six Nations inside the top 10, as Japan, Samoa, and Georgia are unable to overtake them, regardless of the result against France on Super Saturday.
A win over Les Bleus could see Wales leapfrog Argentina and move up to eighth place, provided they win by a margin of 16 or more points.
France has the chance to become the world’s number one side and clinch the Six Nations title with a win in Paris this weekend, as long as Ireland falls in their Grand Slam bid and loses against England.
The top four teams in the world are currently Ireland, France, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Despite a loss to France and their thrashing of 53-10, England remains in sixth place and could overtake Scotland in fifth if they win against Ireland.
The Scots could fall to seventh, below Australia, if they fail to beat Italy.
Italy’s loss to Wales caused them to drop one place to 14th, below Fiji. A defeat to Scotland on Super Saturday would result in another Six Nations whitewash, keeping them in 14th place.
However, an Italian win at Murrayfield could move them back up to 11th place.
The new World Rugby rankings table is as follows:
- New Zealand
- South Africa