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Boks on the move in rankings shakeup

UPDATE: Seven of the top 10 teams find themselves in different positions in the World Rugby Rankings after the final round of World Cup warm-up clashes.


It was a weekend of ups and downs for all the top-ranked teams – except Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The men from the Emerald Isle remain at No.1.

Scotland stays fifth, following a 33-6 win over Georgia, and Wales remain in 10th, their lowest-ever position going into a World Cup – having sat out the last round of matches.

Twickenham Stadium was the scene of not one but two momentous matches less than 24 hours apart.

The All Blacks suffered the worst defeat in their history this past Friday, before Fiji stunned England on Saturday.

And they were not the only matches that backed up the assertion this could be the most open World Cup yet.


Samoa pushed Ireland to the limit in Bayonne, Italy beat the higher-ranked Japan, and while Georgia fell away against Scotland, they can take huge encouragement from leading their hosts 6-0 at half-time.

Having done just enough to see off Samoa and win 17-13, Ireland remains the world’s No.1 team.

However, South Africa are now just 0.74 points adrift as their nearest challengers, following their 35-7 win over the All Blacks.

The 28-point margin of defeat was the biggest in the All Blacks’ history and the loss of 1.71 points has seen their rating fall below that of South Africa and France.


South Africa and France, who defeated Australia 41-17 in the final warm-up game in Paris on Sunday, each move up one place, to second and third respectively – with the All Blacks dropping to fourth, on 89.06 points.

Scotland is the next best team in fifth, after they recovered from their slow start against Georgia to score 33 unanswered second-half points.

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Fiji’s win has big implications

Argentina’s rating of 80.86 points remained untouched following a comfortable 62-3 win against Spain in Madrid.

However, with England losing to Fiji for the first time, Los Pumas have moved up to sixth.

Fiji’s 30-22 win over England, their first in eight attempts, boosted their rating by 1.58 points with their beaten opponents losing as many in exchange.

Fiji are now the higher ranked of the two teams in seventh, their best-ever position, with England a third of a point behind in eighth.

The only time England has been as low as this before was in the aftermath of World Cup 2015 when they became the first host nation to be knocked out in the pool stage.

After suffering their fifth consecutive defeat, Australia have also matched their previous lowest position with the Wallabies dropping down a place to ninth.


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