French lock cited for challenge on Barclay – Scotland drop to eighth in World Rankings

New Zealand remain firm favourites with the bookmakers to lift to the World Cup in Japan

SCOTLAND’S heavy defeat to France in Nice on Saturday night meant they dropped behind their hosts into eighth place in the official World Rankings when the updated table was published this morning.

Elsewhere, Wales became the world’s top ranked team thanks to their victory over England, knocking New Zealand off the No 1 spot for the first time in 509 weeks. England have dropped from fourth to fifth, with South Africa leap-frogging Eddie Jones’ side following their home win over Argentina.

The practical significance of all this is negligible as the draw for next month’s World Cup was made last year, and the reshuffle of the pecking order does not seem to have had any real influence with the bookmakers ahead of the big tournament. New Zealand remain 5/4 favourites with most of the major British turf accountants.


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South Africa, who are sliding between 5/1 and 4/1, are second-favourites; followed by England whose odds range from 9/2 to 6/1; Ireland ranging from 7/1 to 8/1; and Wales are being offered at various prices between 7/1 and 10/1.

Scotland are ninth favourites with some leading bookmakers offering odds as long as 50/1.

Meanwhile, French second-row Paul Gabrillagues has been cited for a challenge on Scotland flanker John Barclay at a ruck after 17 minutes of Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match. Independent citing commissioner Shaun Gallagher (England) has fingered the 26-year-old for an alleged act of foul play contrary to Law 9.20 (dangerous play in a ruck or maul). A hearing will take place on 20th August in London.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1417 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

3 Comments

  1. This type of sickening challenge / clear out unfortunately is now part of the game. It is my opinion that something must be done to protect players who are exposing the back of their heads and neck in maul situations, to dangerous, american football like, spear tackles. What’s it going to take to change the laws on this, someone dyeing?

    • Should’ve been a straight red. If nigel missed it, o e of his AR’s or at the very least TMO should’ve pulled it up. The really bad thi g is Barclay asked Nigel to look at it and he refused !!

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