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The United States has moved up in IRB's world rankings after its 27-17 defeat of Romania. Stuck at 18th for nearly 17 months, the Eagles jumped over Romania and Canada to 16th Monday, having beaten both countries this year.
The Eagles haven't been ranked this high since June 2013. They tumbled from 16th to 17th after losing to Ireland June 8, 2013, and from 17th to 18th after losing to Japan and Tonga over the next two weeks.
Perhaps most significant in the climb is the leapfrogging of rival Canada. The Eagles have not been ranked higher than the Maple Leafs since October, 2003. The world rankings system was introduced that year, it took less than a month for Canada to surpass the United States, and 11 years for the Eagles to catch back up.
Sitting ahead of the Americans in 15th is Georgia, a team the Eagles have beaten twice in row, once in 2012 and 2013. It's conceivable, if the Eagles do well enough against Tonga and Fiji in the remaining fall tests, and/or if Georgia does poorly enough against Ireland and Japan this month, that they could climb as high as 15th. Canada, which will play Samoa and Romania in the coming weeks, is well within reach of catching the USA, too.