WALES have climbed up the World Rugby rankings after securing a win against Italy in the Six Nations tournament, marking their first rise in months.
Their ranking had previously dropped to 10th place, which was their joint lowest ever position, following a defeat by England.
If they had lost against Italy, they would have faced their worst ever ranking position, but their 29-17 bonus point win saw them move back up to ninth place.
This latest ranking makes it certain that Wales will finish in the top 10 of the Six Nations, with Japan, Samoa, and Georgia unable to overtake them regardless of their results.
If Wales manages an unprecedented victory over Les Bleus, they could leapfrog Argentina and move up to eighth place in the rankings, as long as they win by a margin of 16 or more points.
France could become the world’s number one side and clinch the Six Nations title if they win against Ireland in Paris, while England remains in sixth place, and Scotland could drop to seventh if they fail to beat Italy.
Italy lost one position in the rankings after their defeat against Wales, and they may face a Six Nations whitewash if they lose against Scotland on Super Saturday.
However, they will move up one spot if Portugal beats Georgia in the Rugby Europe Championship final this weekend.
On the other hand, an Italian win at Murrayfield could see them climb up to 11th place in the rankings. The gap between the top four teams and the rest of the world is now substantial.