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Premiership Rugby

New Zealand in ‘hardest’ RWC Pool

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

USA's comfortable two-legged win over Spain sealed their spot in the tournament and has pushed them above RWC debutants Georgia who are the only team travelling to Australia who did not take part in the 1999 RWC.

In terms of the Zurich World Rankings as they stand at the moment, the 'hardest' RWC Pool is Pool D that features New Zealand, Wales, Italy, Canada and Tonga with a 9.6 ranking position average.

The 'easiest' is Pool B with France, Scotland, Fiji, Japan and USA with an average of 11.4 whilst Pools A and C both have an average of 10.4.  Zurich World Rankings (as of May 1, 2003):

1 England 12392 New Zealand 1206  3 Australia 1146  4 France 11395 South Africa 1045  6 Ireland 8937 Scotland 783(-) 8 Argentina 762 (+7) 9 Wales 70210 Samoa 680  11 Canada 603  12 Italy 59313 Fiji 567  14 Tonga 52315 Japan 471  16 Romania 383(+1) 17 United States 372 (+28)  (-1) 18 Georgia 359 (-) 19 Uruguay 307 (+12)  20 Namibia 294

(-) 21 Portugal 292(-) 22 Russia 269(+1) 23 Tunisia 254(-1) 24= Chile 251 (-7)(+1) 24= Morocco 251(+1) 26 Korea 241(+1) 27 Cote d'Ivoire 240(-2) 28 Spain 234 (-12) (-) 29 Czech Republic 232(-) 30 Cook Islands 230(-) 31 Zimbabwe 229(+1) 32 Germany 225 (+3)(+2) 33 Poland 221(-1) 34 Ukraine 220 (-2)(-3) 35 Netherlands 216 (-7)(+1) 36 Denmark 211 (+3)(-1) 37 Croatia 210(+3) 38 Slovenia 207 (+9)(-) 39 Switzerland 203(-2) 40 Sweden 201 (-3)

(-) 41 Brazil 198(+2) 42 Latvia 197 (+5)(-3) 43 Belgium 193 (-6)(-1) 44 Papua New Guinea 193 (-) 45 Chinese Taipei 190(-) 46 Hong Kong 188(-) 47 Paraguay 171 (-7)(-) 48 Madagascar 169(+1) 49 Arabian Gulf 163(-2) 50 Yugoslavia 155 (-14)(-) 51= Kenya 149(+3) 51= Hungary 149 (+10)(-1) 53 Trinidad & Tobago 147(-1) 54 Austria 14155 Bermuda 13256= Malaysia 13156= Andorra 13158 Thailand 12559 China 11960 Moldova 102 (-6)

61= Lithuania 10461= Singapore 10463 Uganda 10164 Kazakhstan 9365 Botswana 9266 Sri Lanka 9167 Venezuela 8768 Zambia 8369= Cameroon 7969= Cayman Islands 7971 Israel 7872 Tahiti 7273 Malta 66 (+4)74 Bosnia 62 (-3)75= Bulgaria 5575= Niue Island 5578= Luxembourg 4878= Jamaica 4879= Solomon Islands 3779= Peru 3781 Monaco 3682 Swaziland 3483 Barbados 2984= Mexico 2684= Norway 2686= Bahamas 2486= Guyana 2488 Vanuatu 2389 Colombia 20

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