Six Nations Power Rankings after opening summer Tests

Yoram Moefana
After an incredible weekend of rugby with the best sides in the northern hemisphere travelling to face the best sides in the southern hemisphere, it is time to look at the power rankings.

After an incredible weekend of rugby with the best sides in the northern hemisphere travelling to face the best sides in the southern hemisphere, it is time to look at the power rankings.

We were treated to a weekend to remember as Italy overcame Romania in Bucharest before France defeated Japan in the first of two Test matches.

Ireland then suffered a heavy defeat against New Zealand, and Australia overcame England in Perth.

And the day was not done there as South Africa left it till late to hold out for victory over Wales as Scotland suffered defeat in Argentina.

But after such a gigantic weekend of rugby, we look at the winners and losers with the power rankings.

1.     France

After an Autumn Nations Series to remember and an unbeaten Guinness Six Nations campaign, France’s 42-23 victory over Japan was their ninth in a row – their new post war record.

They have even been able to rest the likes of Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack and Gregory Alldritt after long and physical seasons, with Yoram Moefana starring as Matthieu Jalibert continued to stake his claim for the French starting jersey.

France are in an absolutely incredible run of form at the moment, and with their depth getting even stronger this summer, they have certainly worked themselves to be the number one team in the power rankings.

2.   Italy

The Azzurri finished their Championship with a famous victory over Wales in Round 5 and after a 38-31 win against Portugal last week, they had won two games in a row to show a marked improvement.

They then faced Romania in Bucharest, a side they had not beaten since 1991, but that did not faze them, as they eased to a 45-13 win.

They end their summer Tests against Georgia next week, looking for a fourth consecutive win.

3.   Wales

The 2022 Guinness Six Nations was one to forget for Wales after losing four of the five matches, with a sole victory coming against Scotland.

And against a South Africa side who were 1/16 favourites to win the game before kick-off, Wales were sensational, rushing into an 18-3 lead courtesy of a brace from winger Louis Rees-Zammit.

But South Africa bounced back as World Champions do, and after ten minutes in the second half they only trailed 18-17.

Wales defended admirably, but couldn’t stop the South African maul, which saw them with just 12 players on the pitch at one stage, and the Springboks edged out a massive 32-29 victory – but it was a performance that will have given much satisfaction to Wales.

4.   England

After a tricky Guinness Six Nations which saw England win just two of their five matches for the second year in a row, England and Eddie Jones would have been desperate to get their Summer Test series off to the best possible start in Perth.

But despite the Wallabies being down to 14-men after Darcy Swain’s red card, England found themselves 30-14 down with around five minutes on the clock, before two debutants in Henry Arundell and Jack Van Poortvliet crossed for consolation scores to finish the scores at 30-28.

5.     Scotland

Scotland had a mixed Guinness Six Nations, with victories over England and Italy, but defeats against Wales, Ireland and France, and they face Argentina for the first time in a three Test series.

In the first Test they found themselves trailing 18-6 at half-time, but managed to fight back to 18-18, with tries from Mark Bennett and Rory Hutchinson.

Eventually though, Los Pumas found a way to win, holding out for a 26-18 win.

6.     Ireland

Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations campaign saw them lift the Triple Crown with only a narrow defeat to France preventing them from lifting the Grand Slam.

That was after an Autumn Nations Series campaign that saw them trump New Zealand in Dublin, they were hopeful they could record a first ever win on New Zealand soil this weekend, but it was not to be, as New Zealand’s 28-year record at Eden Park continued, with Ireland unable to play the full 80-minutes required to beat the All Blacks in a 42-19 defeat.