Scotland have moved into the top 10 of the World Rugby Women’s Rankings for the first time in history after beating Spain 27-22 in match-day two of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier in Parma on Sunday.
Bryan Easson’s team only needed to avoid defeat to overtake Wales in the rankings but they managed a victory that also keeps their hopes of making it to New Zealand alive after losing their opening game to Italy 38-13. Wales drop out of the top 10 for the first time as a result of events in Parma.
Having been beaten by Spain by the narrowest of margins on Monday, Ireland also needed a win to stay in contention to win the tournament and the prize of a direct ticket to New Zealand. They obliged with a 15-7 victory over Italy that sees them swap places with the Azzurre in the rankings and move up to seventh.
Italy are just below them in eighth, Spain are ninth and Scotland 10th, and the closeness of the teams in the rankings – they are covered by just over five rating points – is reflected in the tournament table, where all four teams are level on five points with everything to play for this weekend.