Six Nations
England climb to fourth in IRB rankings
ESPNscrum Staff
March 12, 2012
England flock around Tom Croft after his try, France v England, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris, France, March 11, 2012
England celebrate Tom Croft's winning try in Paris © Getty Images

England have climbed to fourth in the International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings following Sunday's Six Nations win over France in Paris.

Stuart Lancaster's side pulled through 24-22 at the Stade de France to leapfrog France and Wales into the coveted fourth spot.

With New Zealand, Australia and South Africa occupying the top three places, the door is open for a northern hemisphere team to dodge a bullet when the draw is made for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool stages later this year.

The team occupying fourth will not be drawn alongside one of the southern hemisphere heavyweights, something that Wales will also have an eye on prior to Saturday's Grand Slam meeting with France.

Warren Gatland's side remain fifth - three tenths behind England - after last weekend's win over Italy as they were at home and the Azzurri are below them in the rankings.

Ireland put a little breathing space between themselves and Argentina in seventh thanks to a win over Scotland on Saturday, with Andy Robinson's side and Italy still outside the top 10.

Click Here for the full IRB rankings.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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