World rankings: It’s tight at the top as Australia drop to record-equalling low

Colin Newboult

Wallabies players dejected after losing to Fiji in the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Fiji and Wales are the only movers in the top 10 of the World Rugby rankings, while Australia have paid the price for their defeat on Sunday.

Warren Gatland’s men are up to seventh while the Pacific Islanders are just a place behind them in eighth.

The Welshman overcame Portugal 28-8 on Saturday, but they were really the beneficiaries of the Flying Fijians’ 22-15 triumph over the Wallabies.

Those sides are now locked on the same number of points – 80.66 – while Eddie Jones’ side have slipped down two places to a record-equalling low of ninth on 79.00

The top four

Although the top four in the world played matches over the last few days, none of them were able to accrue any points.

Ireland, South Africa, France and New Zealand defeated Tonga, Romania, Uruguay and Namibia respectively, all teams that are too low in the standings for them to benefit.

That means Andy Farrell’s outfit remain slightly in front of the Springboks ahead of their huge Rugby World Cup Pool B encounter in Paris this weekend.

Just 0.15 points (91.82 to 91.67) separates the sides in the rankings, which means the winner of Saturday’s clash will be at number one next Monday.

Les Bleus are just behind them in third with the All Blacks slightly adrift on 87.69 in fourth.

Scotland remain in fifth and England in sixth, but the Red Rose edged slightly closer to their rivals after their 34-12 triumph over Japan.

World rankings week beginning 18/09/2023

1 (1) Ireland 91.82
2 (2) South Africa 91.67
3 (3) France 90.59
4 (4) New Zealand 87.69
5 (5) Scotland 83.43
6 (6) England 83.24
7 (8) Wales 80.66
8 (9) Fiji 80.66
9 (7) Australia 79.00
10 (10) Argentina 77.59

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