Rankings boost for record-breaking Wales

Wales and France move up the World Rugby Rankings after both teams won in the latest round of the Six Nations.

A record 12th consecutive victory, the outright lead at the top of the Six Nations table and a return to third place in the World Rugby Rankings, as weekends go they don't get much better for Welsh rugby supporters. And to achieve all that by beating England made it just that bit sweeter.

The 21-13 victory at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff was worth three-quarters of a point to Warren Gatland's history-makers who are still on course for a Grand Slam with a trip to Scotland and a home game against Ireland still to come in the final two rounds of the Championship.

Tom Curry had given England the dream start when he burst away from an unguarded ruck but Wales dominated the second half and tries from Cory Hill and Josh Adams, between the 67th and 77th minutes, sent the home crowd into raptures.

A fraction over a rating point now separates the teams in the rankings with England dropping down to fourth. 

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Ireland did what was needed in Rome to beat Italy 26-16, but it was a far from a vintage display from the reigning champions who trailed 16-12 at the break. Second-half tries from Keith Earls and Conor Murray in addition to earlier scores from Quinn Roux and Jacob Stockdale secured the bonus-point win. For Italy, Edoardo Padovani and Luca Morisi both crossed and they can take much encouragement from this display even if the long wait for a Six Nations win continues.

Scotland failed to put their 20-year barren run in Paris to bed, losing 27-10 to a French side that was inspired by the counter-attacking flair of full-back of Thomas Ramos and an exceptional performance from scrum-half Antoine Dupont.

Fly-half Romain Ntamack and Yoann Huget scored in the first half before Grégory Alldritt notched a try double, his second coming in the seventh minute of stoppage time to ensure Les Bleus picked up all five points. Scotland struggled to find any fluency having been forced to make a number of injury-enforced changes in selection and could only manage a try from replacement scrum-half Ali Price with three minutes left.

France climb above Argentina and Fiji as a result of the win and are now eighth in the rankings, nine-tenths of a point behind their beaten opponents.

In the Americas Rugby Championship, wins for the higher-ranked USA (13th) and Canada (21st) over Brazil (26th) and Chile (29th) respectively meant there was no change to the rating or ranking positions of any of the teams involved. 

Full a full round-up of round three of the Americas Rugby Championship, click here.

One other international counted towards the rankings and, after being held to a 6-6 draw at home to the Ivory Coast, Switzerland fall one place to 32nd with Kenya the side to benefit.