Ireland seal fourth place in world rankings after Round Five
20 March 2017 17:07pm
By Paul Eddison
Simon Zebo and Johnny Sexton celebrate Ireland's win over England
Ireland ended their RBS 6 Nations campaign by defeating England in Dublin and their second-place finish in the Championship sees them secure a spot as one of the top seeds for the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw.
The Rugby World Cup draw will take place on May 10 with the 12 teams who have already qualified for the tournament split into three bands.
The world's top four will be in Band 1, with the next four in Band 2, while the remaining teams who have already qualified, will be in Band 3.
With the final seedings set after the weekend's action, Ireland could have been overtaken by Wales in Band 1 had Rob Howley's side won in Paris and the Irish failed to beat England.
In the end, Wales were denied in dramatic circumstances by France, and Ireland then went on to beat the English to consolidate their fourth place in the world rankings.
Fresh from their second successive RBS 6 Nations title, England sit second overall, with 89.53 points, nearly five points clear of Ireland which means both teams will be top seeds for the World Cup pool draw.
The Irish are closing in on Australia in third, however, while Scotland's promising Championship - in which they won all three of their home games - sees them into fifth.
The Scots are just 0.18 points clear of France in sixth, while Wales are now in eighth with all three sides now second seeds for the pool draw for the World Cup in Japan.
After defeat in Scotland, Italy will be in the third band of seeds for the World Cup alongside Argentina, Japan and Georgia.
World's top eight after the RBS 6 Nations
1. New Zealand - 94.78
2. England - 89.53
3. Australia - 86.35
4. Ireland - 84.66
5. Scotland - 82.18
6. France - 82.00
7. South Africa - 81.79
8. Wales - 81.36
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.