With England and France both playing lower-ranked opposition in the second round of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, neither side can improve their rating score this weekend.
However, gains are possible for their four rivals, who cover positions seven to 10 in the rankings, with the Wales v Scotland game at Cardiff Arms Park probably the hardest to predict.
Only 0.15 of a rating point separates the teams ranked 10th and ninth in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, with the visitors the higher placed of the two, while the head-to-head record is also very close with Wales having 18 wins to Scotland’s 15.
Wales returned to the Top 10 in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini after last weekend’s shock 27-19 win away to Ireland, replacing Spain, and further progress will be made if they win again on Saturday.
A second consecutive victory will be worth at least three-quarters of a point to Wales, and that would be enough for them to leapfrog Scotland and move into ninth.
Scotland travel south to Wales on the back of a heavy 57-5 defeat to defending Women’s Six Nations champions England.
However, the 12th and final qualifiers for Rugby World Cup 2021, played in 2022, performed better than the scoreline suggests in Edinburgh, dominating possession but not the scoreboard.
Should Scotland go down to Cardiff and do what the men failed to do and win, they will climb to a new high of eighth as long as Ireland lose to France in the earlier kick-off.
If beaten, Wales will lose their place in the Top 10 only one week after reclaiming it.
Meanwhile, Ireland stand to gain two places and jump up to sixth if they achieve a fourth victory over France in 28 years of trying. The only caveat is that Italy must also lose to England in Sunday’s fixture.
A shock defeat for Les Bleues, who opened their campaign with a 39-6 win over Italy, will see them drop below Canada to fourth.
Like France, England cannot improve their rating this weekend as they’re playing an Italian side who are nearly 20 points worse off in the rankings.
A first-ever defeat to Italy in 22 outings will see England’s lead over New Zealand at the top of the rankings cut to 5.68 points, or 4.68 points if the Azzurre win in some style.
An Italian win will lead to them moving up one place to sixth. A record-equalling fifth place is possible if the margin of victory is over 15 points.