Scotland climb world rankings

Vern Cotter’s reign in charge of the Scotland team began with a 24-6 win over USA and a rise of two places in the IRB World Rankings.

Scotland climbed from 10th to eighth with a net gain of 0.76 points as a result of the victory in Houston, which came about after tries from Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg, a penalty try and nine points from the boot of captain Greig Laidlaw.

Scotland were the only team in the Top 10 to enjoy a rise in the rankings table after the first weekend of the June International Test window, with New Zealand and Australia still occupying first and third place after their respective wins over England and France.

Australia gained 0.03 points as a result of their 50-23 win over Les Bleus, while fifth-placed Ireland made up 0.73 points on England in fourth, although there is still a considerable gap between the two nations (2.82 points), after winning on Argentinean soil for the first time in a full-blown international.

The Pumas dropped 0.73 points to 75.71 and are now ninth in the world.

Samoa also lost ground after being held to an 18-18 draw against Tonga in Apia in the first match of the Pacific Nations Cup 2014 tournament. Samoa are now listed in 10th place on 75.27 points, leaving them only fractionally ahead of Fiji, who recorded a 25-14 win over Italy to move on to 74.70 points.

Canada’s defeat at home to Japan in the same competition saw the Maple Leafs drop from 15th to 16th in the rankings, with European Nations Cup Division 1A champions Georgia leapfrogging them. Japan stay 12th but are only 0.12 points behind Fiji in a particularly congested section of the rankings table.