Since Italy’s entry into the Six Nations fold in 2000, Scotland have won only three of their eight matches on Italian soil.
However, they won on their last trip to the Italian capital, thanks to Duncan Weir’s brilliant last-minute drop goal, and a repeat result – this time in their RWC warm-up match in Turin – would send them up two places in the World Rugby Rankings to 10th, relegating Tonga and RWC 2015 opponents Samoa to 11th and 12th respectively.
If Scotland win against an Italian side enjoying its first run out since March and Japan buck their recent four-game losing streak and beat Uruguay at home, the Azzurri would drop to 15th in the world.
Scotland could fall to their lowest ever position of 13th if they return home empty-handed, while it is possible for Italy to climb as high as 12th with a big win.
Low five for England?
Higher up the rankings, it is impossible for England to move any higher than their current position of fourth even if they do the double over France in Paris this weekend.
But a more convincing victory than the 19-14 result achieved at Twickenham last weekend could see them close the gap on their RWC 2015 opponents Australia in third to less than a tenth, as an England win by more than 15 points would see them gain 1.06 points to move to 86.59 points.
France can only cement their position in seventh with victory at the Stade de France as even an emphatic victory would still leave them 1.4 rating points behind Wales above. However, a win for Les Bleus, regardless of the margin, would see RWC 2015 hosts England slip below South Africa to fifth.
The last three versions of ‘Le Crunch’ at the venue have all ended with a margin of just two points between the sides.
A shock win for Uruguay over Japan in Fukuoka would see Los Teros leapfrog Canada into 18th place in the rankings if the Canucks lose to North American rivals USA for the third match in a row.
Los Teros stand to gain between two and three ratings points if they are able to repeat their 24-18 win against the Brave Blossoms in Montevideo in 2005 – the only other previous fixture between the nations. A victory for Japan on home soil would not improve their rating.
Eagles eye hat-trick
If the USA are able to maintain their recent dominance over Canada and their RWC 2015 opponents Japan lose, the Eagles would then move up to 15th place at the expense of the team they recently defeated at the Pacific Nations Cup. Japan’s poor run of results began with a 23-18 loss to the USA in Sacramento, California.
Canada stand to gain 1.73 ratings points if they put their winless PNC 2015 campaign behind them and record a big victory in Ottawa, although that will not be enough to lift them above Romania into 17th.
They only lost 15-13 to the Eagles in that competition, and only then to a last-minute winning drop goal, so will hope to avenge that defeat this time out.
The first day of the Oceania Rugby Cup 2015, held in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby, could have a bearing on the World Rugby Rankings.
Papua New Guinea (ranked 95th) begin their title defence against Tahiti (99th) on Saturday while the Solomon Islands (97th) take on American Samoa (102nd) in the opening match of the tournament, which is to be played at the brand new Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.
The Puk Puks are unable to improve their ranking with victory but the Solomon Islands could jump one place. It is possible for American Samoa to rid themselves of the unwanted tag as the lowest ranked nation with a big win against the Solomon Islands lifting them up one place to 101st. Vanuatu would prop up the rankings instead in such a scenario.
The World Rugby Rankings update every Monday at 12:00 UK time.