Wallabies fire Bok warning
New Zealand may be sitting pretty and safe in first place, but South Africa's second place on the IRB rankings is under threat from Australia.
New Zealand may be sitting pretty and safe in first place, but South Africa's second place on the International Rugby Board rankings is under threat from Australia.
Wallaby captain Michael Hooper put the Springboks on notice on Friday, making it clear they are determined to overtake the Boks in second place.
And then there is the matter of the Mandela Challenge Plate back.
However, it is the IRB rankings that got most airtime when the two skippers - Hooper and Jean de Villiers - had their respective captains' media conferences in Perth on Friday.
New Zealand (93.56) currently gave a healthy 4.22 points lead over second-placed South Africa (89.34), with Australia (87.19) a further 2.15 points back in third place.
In order to overtake the Boks in second place, the Wallabies have to win by more than 15 points in Perth - something Hooper feel is well within their grasp.
"They've got two things that we want," Hooper told a media briefing, adding: "They're No.2 in the world and they've got the Mandela Plate.
"So there's silverware on offer and a chance to up our ranking.
"Every chance you get to play a top team like the All Blacks, like the South Africans, is a great opportunity to improve."
The Bok skipper, De Villiers took note of the warning fired at his team and has accepted the challenge.
"We have our goals set and we do not put our goals at being No.2," De Villiers said at his media briefing.
"We would like to get to No.1," he said, adding: "You always strive to be the best in the world and we will continue to do that.
"It is much easier said than done, and we are aware that the Wallabies will be a massive threat for us."
Australia, playing at home, are currently on 87.19 points. South Africa, playing away, are on 89.34 points.
* If Australia win by more than 15 points: Rating points change - 1.373 gained by Aus and 1.373 lost by SA; new Aus ratings points - 88.56; new SA ratings points - 87.97
* If Australia win by one to 15 points: Rating points change - 0.915 gained by Aus and 0.915 lost by SA; new Aus ratings points - 88.11; new SA ratings points - 88.42
* If result is a draw: Rating points change - 0.085 lost by Aus and 0.085 gained by SA; new Aus ratings points - 87.11; new SA ratings points - 89.42
* If South Africa win by one to 15 points: * Rating points change - 1.085 lost by Aus and 1.085 gained by SA; new Aus ratings points - 86.11; new SA ratings points - 90.42
* If South Africa win by more than 15 points: * Rating points change - 1.627 lost by Aus and 1.627 gained by SA; new Aus ratings points - 85.56; new SA ratings points - 90.97
Top 15 on the IRB World Rankings - as at September 1:
1 New Zealand 93.56
2 South Africa 89.34
3 Australia 87.19
4 England 85.68
5 Ireland 83.44
6 Wales 80.70
7 France 80.01
8 Scotland 77.78
9 Samoa 76.59
10 Japan 75.39
11 Fiji 74.56
12 Argentina 73.98
13 Tonga 72.58
14 Italy 70.92
15 Georgia 70.46