England ranked number one as All Blacks slip to third

Adam Kyriacou

Rugby World Cup finalists England and South Africa are now ranked one and two in the world rankings, with New Zealand sliding to third spot in the latest list.

England’s 19-7 defeat of defending champions New Zealand in their semi-final at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday lifted Eddie Jones’ men to the top of the rankings – a position England had last occupied 5,613 days ago in June 2004.

A day later South Africa returned to second spot for the first time since August 2015 on the back of a 19-16 defeat of Wales to keep their hopes of a third Rugby World Cup success alive.

The end of New Zealand’s 18-match winning run in the tournament means the All Blacks have dropped to third, equalling their lowest ever position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.

They will hope that history repeats itself as they slipped to third after losing the 2003 semi-final to Australia but bounced back to second a week later with victory in the bronze final.

Wales, meanwhile, fell one place to fourth after missing out on a place in a first Rugby World Cup final.

World Rugby Rankings
(Previous position in brackets)

1(2) England 92.29
2(4) South Africa 90.71
3(1) New Zealand 89.92
4(3) Wales 87.21
5(5) Ireland 84.45
6(6) Australia 81.90
7(7) France 80.88
8(8) Japan 79.28
9(9) Scotland 79.23
10(10) Argentina 78.31

With thanks to World Rugby