Springboks receive rankings bonus

The Springboks received a rankings bonus by climbing one position to fifth following the fourth round of the Six Nations. EPA/YOAN VALAT

Ireland and South Africa both moved up one place in the latest edition of the World Rugby Rankings, released on Monday following the fourth round of the Six Nations.

Joe Schmidt's Ireland have climbed to second, behind New Zealand, for the first time since August 2015 following their 20-point win over Scotland and England's narrow loss to France in Paris.

The two results combined not only saw Ireland claim the Six Nations title with a round to spare but also brought about a swing of 2.52 rating points in their favour. That swing has also resulted in Scotland dropping below South Africa for the time being, elevating the Springboks to fifth place -- a position new coach Rassie Erasmus will hope they climb even further from following the mid-year Tests.

With 93.99 points, New Zealand maintain a healthy points lead over Ireland on 87.85, who are now 0.35 in front of England, who they face at Twickenham on Saturday as they go in pursuit of only their third Grand Slam.

Apart from South Africa and Scotland swapping positions, the only move in the top 10 of the rankings involve France. Jacques Brunel's gained 1.89 points with their 22-16 victory over England, which has seen them move up to places to eighth -- leapfrogging Argentina and Fiji.

Further down the rankings table Namibia dropped a place 24th, Kenya remained at 30th, as did Uganda at 35, Morocco at 38, Tunisia at 43 and Peter de Villiers' Zimbabwe at 44.

The current top 10: (as at 12 March 2018)

1. New Zealand (93.99 points)

2. Ireland (87.85)

3. England (87.50)

4. Australia (85.49)

5. SOUTH AFRICA (83.81)

6. Scotland (83.80)

7. Wales (83.07)

8. France (79.44)

9. Argentina (78.22)

10. Fiji (77.93)