World rankings: Italy equal all-time high, Wales hit a record low after the Six Nations

Jared Wright
Italy's Lorenzo Pani scores a try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium.

Italy's Lorenzo Pani scores a try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium.

Italy have moved back up to their all-time best world ranking following their 21-24 victory over Wales in the Six Nations.

With the Six Nations and Rugby Europe Championship now concluded, the Top 10 has been confirmed ahead of the July internationals.

Italy back to 17-year high

The win over Wales saw Italy move up one spot in the world rankings, claiming eighth place for the first time since August 2007; it’s the third that the Azzurri have been ranked this high.

This has also resulted in Wales dropping from eighth place to tenth in the latest rankings, falling below Italy and Australia.

It’s the first time in 11 years that Italy have been ranked higher than Wales, the last time being in February of 2013.

Italy started the Six Nations in 11th place and have since moved into eighth thanks to their wins over Wales and Scotland and their draw in France. They picked up 3.48 points since the start of the year – the largest gain of the 14 teams competing in the Six Nations and Rugby Europe Championship.

Lowly Wales and the Six Nations’ overall impact on the rankings

Tenth spot equals a record low for Wales who went winless throughout the Six Nations. Wales started the Championship ranked eighth overall and dropped three players as they were the nation that lost the most rating points (3.38) over the last seven weeks.

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The remaining Six Nations Super Saturday fixtures did not result in any positional changes in the rankings as Ireland remained in second, France in fourth, England in fifth, and Scotland in sixth.

Those four aforementioned teams all started and ended the Six Nations in their respective positions, although Ireland gained some ground on top-ranked South Africa while England closed the gap on France, and Scotland edged closer to England.

Georgia clinched their seventh straight Rugby Europe Championship title on Sunday with a comfortable 36-10 victory over Portugal.

That win extended their unbeaten streak in the tournament to 35 matches, and while they started the campaign behind Portugal in the rankings, they finished the competition ahead of Os Lobbos.

A win in the final did not see Georgia improve on their 13th place on the rankings but did earn them an increase of 1.34 rating points.

Spain also improved their ranking by one place during the Rugby Europe Championship, moving up to 19th place, thanks to their bronze medal final victory over Romania.

State of the Nation: Wales must cling to hope after winless Six Nations

Latest World Rugby Rankings (18/03/2024)

1(1) South Africa 94.54
2(2) Ireland 90.69
3(3) New Zealand 89.80
4(4) France 87.92
5(5) England 85.75
6(6) Scotland 82.82
7(7) Argentina 80.68
8 (9) Italy 79.41
9 (10) Australia 77.48
10(8) Wales 79.62
11 (11) Fiji 76.38
12 (12) Japan 74.27
13 (13) Georgia 74.02
14 (14) Samoa 72.23
15 (16) Tonga 71.57
16 (15) Portugal 70.28
17 (17) USA 67.94
18 (18) Uruguay 67.39
19 (19) Spain 64.37
20 (20) Romania 61.66

READ MORE: Six Nations Team of the Tournament: Ireland and Italy lead the way as one country misses out