After a weekend filled with riveting rugby action on the fields in France, the latest Rugby World rankings for the men's division have brought some notable shifts. Ireland maintains its stronghold at the top, securing the coveted number one spot, while Australia finds itself at number 10.
Among our Pacific Island nations, Fiji stands tall at number 8, showcasing their prowess on the global rugby stage. However, for Tonga and Samoa, the road ahead appears challenging as they currently reside outside the top ten teams.
With their recent win over a beleaguered Australian team, Wales has become the first and only team to secure a spot in the quarter-finals. They've notched up an impressive three games and three wins, and they have one more pool match to go before the knockout stage begins.
In this same pool, another team that has been an absolute joy to watch is none other than the Flying Fijians. Despite starting their campaign with a loss to Wales, they swiftly bounced back, showcasing their resilience by defeating two time World Champions, Australia in a thrilling encounter just a week ago. However, the road to the quarter-finals remains challenging for them. To secure a coveted spot in the Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals, they'll have to overcome Portugal and Georgia in their remaining pool matches. If they succeed, it would mark a historic first for Fiji to make the quarter finals in a Rugby World Cup. The Fijians' journey is one that rugby fans worldwide will be following closely as the competition unfolds.
Australia now finds themselves in a precarious position. To keep their quarter-final dreams alive, they must secure victories against Portugal. However, their fate also hinges on the outcomes of Fiji's remaining two matches. It's a situation that offers a glimmer of hope, and in the words of Eddie Jones, "Don't count us out."
In Pool D, England is currently on top with 14 points, with Samoa and Japan closing in by 9.
For Samoa, the path to the quarter-finals demands nothing short of victory in their upcoming matches. This Saturday, they'll be squaring off against the formidable team from the land of the rising sun, Japan. However, it's bound to be a challenging battle as Japan has a history of proving themselves as no pushovers, often toppling giants when it matters most.
In the current standings, Samoa, Argentina, and Japan all share one win each, while Chile is yet to secure a victory, and England is comfortably leading with three wins. The competition in this pool is heating up, and every upcoming match will be pivotal in determining which teams will secure their spot in the quarter-finals. Samoa's clash with Japan promises to be a thrilling encounter that rugby fans won't want to miss.