Europe's elite international competitions burst back into life in six countries at the weekend with tight wins for France and England and a draw between Ireland and Wales in the RBS Six Nations, while Georgia, Romania and Russia scored wins in the European Nations Cup Division 1A.
RBS SIX NATIONS
Guy Noves was the first new coach to test his mettle against international opposition and his young, newlook France scraped a two-point win against Italy at home, 23-21.
Sevens convert Virimi Vakatawa scored a try within minutes of making his full international debut but France were largely frustrated by the Italians, who were again inspired by captain Sergio Parisse.
Les Bleus fall one place to eighth in the World Rugby rankings as a result of England's 15-9 away win against Scotland at Murrayfield, which sees them replace the French at seventh in the world.
Following their home loss, Scotland fall two places to eleventh, behind Japan (9) and Fiji (10).
In the weekend's Sunday fixture, Ireland began their title defence with a 16-16 draw against Wales. Neither sides move in the world rankings - Wales stay fourth and Ireland sixth.
EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP - DIVISION 1A
In the European Nations Cup, Georgia - so impressive during Rugby World Cup 2015 and already guaranteed their place at the 2019 tournament - had to come back from an early 7-0 deficit against Germany but went on to score a handsome 59-7 win in Tbilisi.
Romania, also competitive at RWC 2015, continued their 2015 form to beat Portugal 39-14 and strengthen their position at second in the standings.
Russia, like Portugal with players in sevens series action in Sydney, needed all of their resolve to see off Spain, 22-20. The Spaniards' form and fortunes improved drastically in 2015 and they still look strong contenders for second place.
None of the six ENC teams moved in the World Rugby Rankings as a result of the weekend's matches.
For the first time fans around the world were able to watch the European Nations Cup matches on a dedicated platform after Rugby Europe launched rugbyeurope.tv as part of plans to grow the structure and stature of the continent's second and third tiers.