World Rankings: Major shake-up in top five
NEWS: It’s all change in the top five of the World Rugby Rankings as the Springboks return to number one at the expense of New Zealand.
With South Africa beating Scotland 30-15 in the early kick-off on Saturday, New Zealand knew they had to get a positive result against Ireland in Dublin to stay at number one.
See rankings below
However, they were no match for Ireland on the day and fell to a 20-29 defeat that could have been worse had the Irish converted their first-half dominance of territory and possession into more than James Lowes’ try.
With South Africa gaining half a rating point for their victory and the All Blacks losing 1.34 points as a result of their second defeat in Dublin in as many games, the Springboks now hold a 1.8-point lead at the top.
But with points on the line in Paris, when France take on the All Blacks in a dress rehearsal for the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2023, and in London when England and South Africa re-enact the Rugby World Cup 2019 final, the situation could change again next weekend.
England are up to third after a 32-15 win over an Australian side that has come out on the wrong side of Eddie Jones’ men in their last eight outings.
Australia’s defeat and Ireland’s magnificent win over the All Blacks puts the Irish up to fourth and the Wallabies down to fifth.
France’s position and rating points total is unchanged following their 41-15 win over Georgia in Bordeaux, with Les Bleus remaining in sixth place on 84.25 points – just over one-and-a-half points above Scotland (82.78). Argentina are next, on 80.81 points, having boosted their rating by half a point with a five-try, 37-16 win over Italy in Treviso.
Meanwhile, both Wales and Japan were given a scare by Fiji and Portugal, respectively, but they remain in eighth and ninth position after finding a way to win.