World Rankings: Wales' place in top 10 in jeopardy
SPOTLIGHT: For the third time in history, Wales find themselves down in 10th place in the World Rugby Men’s rankings.
Saturday’s 10-20 loss to England has led to a reduced rating of 76.88 points, which places them below Japan.
Wales’ place in the world’s top 10 is in jeopardy unless they can arrest their poor run of form.
With only two games left to salvage something from the Six Nations, against Italy and France, the wooden spoon contenders find themselves less than a point better off than Samoa in 11th place.
Wales were last as low as 10th in 2013 after a clean sweep of defeats in November were followed by another loss, to Ireland, in the opening round of the Six Nations.
After just one week in 10th, Wales rallied to beat France 16-6 in Paris and won their next three games to claim the title under caretaker head coach Rob Howley.
Six years earlier Wales sunk 10th after exiting Rugby World Cup 2007 early due to a shock defeat at the hands of Fiji.
On that occasion, Wales stayed in 10th place for four months before an upturn in their fortunes saw them win the Six Nations, which helped them to close out the year in fifth.
With the next Rugby World Cup just over six months away Wales certainly won’t want to be down in 10th place for as long this time around.
Wales’ loss is Japan’s gain with the Brave Blossoms climbing up one place to ninth, their best position since the start of November 2020.
Until now, Japan’s position in the rankings remained unchanged for over two years.
England’s victory combined with Scotland’s 21-32 defeat to France has seen the gap between the countries close to just 0.15 of a point.
Scotland, however, are still the highest-ranked of the two teams in fifth.
With no points awarded to Ireland for their 34-20 win over Italy in Rome, their lead at the top of the rankings has been cut by France to 1.86 points.