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World Rankings: Big drop for Black Ferns

SPOTLIGHT: A historic weekend has resulted in New Zealand falling outside of the top two in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings for the first time in history.

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At no previous time in the eight-year history of the women’s rankings had the Blacks Ferns been anything other than first or second, but Canada’s maiden win over them in 18 attempts has changed that.

Canada clinched the World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2024 title with a ground-breaking 22-19 win in Christchurch, that not only dethroned last year’s champions but also led to the teams swapping places in the rankings.

While New Zealand have fallen to a new low of third, Canada move up to second – equalling their highest-ever position and one they last occupied in November 2016.

England’s lead at the top of the rankings has increased as a result of New Zealand’s setback, from 6.34 points before Sunday’s match to 7.77 points.

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In Friday’s game, Canada’s North American rivals USA came from behind to beat Australia 32-25 in the first women’s test to be played in Melbourne.

Having previously sunk to an all-time low of 10th in the rankings, USA are now up to seventh after signing off from the Pacific Four Series 2024 with their first win of the competition.

After gaining two full rating points, the Women’s Eagles have overtaken three Women’s Six Nations teams in Ireland, Italy and Wales.

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Italy’s new position of ninth is as low as they have been since March 2018.

Just outside the top 10, Japan occupied the 11th spot, while the Africa Women’s Cup champs South Africa are at 12 with 65.17 points.

South Africa is closely followed by Spain with 65.15.

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