BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Scotland will enter the quarter-finals at the World Cup as the only nation outside the top eight in rugby’s global rankings.
Vern Cotter’s side retained their ninth position in the wake of Saturday’s never-shredding 36-33 triumph over Samoa that set up Sunday’s showdown with Australia at Twickenham.
All the other countries who have qualified for the knock-out phase of the tournament currently enjoy places in the top eight of the rankings compiled weekly by World Rugby.
However, should Scotland pull off a major upset and defeat the formidable Wallabies, they will leapfrog old rivals England and condemn the tournament hosts to a spot outside the top eight for the first time since the rankings began in 2003.
The task facing the Scots, though, is highlighted by Australia’s rank as second in the world behind New Zealand, with Ireland now in third spot after their 24-9 victory over France on Sunday.