South Africa's loss to Italy gives Ireland a potential 2019 World Cup boost

The Florence result moved Ireland into the World's top-four

South Africa's loss to Italy gives Ireland a potential 2019 World Cup boost

Italy's Simone Ferrari and Nicola Quaglio celebrate after defeating South Africa 20-18. (AP Photo/Andrea Staccioli)

Italy's surprising 20-18 win over South Africa on Saturday could have far-reaching consequences ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

South Africa's loss meant that the Springboks dropped to fifth in the World Rankings. Despite losing to New Zealand, Ireland moved up to fourth place.

With only one game left in the Autumn internationals for South Africa, next week's game away to Cardiff, is the final chance the two-time World Champions have ahead of the cut-off deadline ahead of next year's World Cup draw.

The draw in May will see the top-four teams be top seeds for the tournament in Japan, with the teams ranked five to eight being placed in the second tier.

While the news of Ireland entering the top-four is excellent, the team could still face a nightmare scenario where they could be drawn with Rugby Championship giants South Africa and Argentina (who look like they may be in the third tier.