World Cup rankings at stake in finale
LONDON: Six Nations champions England may be bidding for a Grand Slam when they face Ireland this weekend but they won’t be the only team with something to play for in tomorrow’s final day of the Championship.
The climax to the 2017 Six Nations also marks the last round of international matches before the 2019 World Cup pool draw takes place in the Japanese city of Kyoto on May 10.
Leading teams will be split into three bands of four based on their position in the world rankings for a seeded draw.
The aim is to prevent too many of the world’s leading nations ending up in the same pool ahead of the quarter-finals and ensure an even spread of competition in the group phase.
Only the top two sides from each of the four pools will go through to the last eight at Japan 2019, so the better your world ranking or seeding, the more chance you have of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Not that it always works like that in practice.
Wales had dropped down to the third tier for the 2015 World Cup and found themselves in a pool with England and Australia.
But it was hosts England who missed out on the quarter-finals