New Zealand have reduced South Africa’s lead at the top of the World Rugby rankings while Australia have sunk to a record-equalling low on the list.
Following the completion of the opening round of the 2021 Rugby Championship, which saw the All Blacks thrash the Wallabies 57-22 in Auckland and the Boks beat Argentina 32-12 in Port Elizabeth, the rankings have undergone a bit of a reshuffle.
New Zealand gained 0.18 of a rating point, thus closing the gap between themselves and South Africa at the top of the rankings to under five points for the first time since 2019.
The Wallabies dropped 0.18 rating points and sank to a record-equalling low of seventh position on 83.14 points, allowing Argentina to leapfrog them into sixth place.
The result between South Africa and Argentina did not culminate in a gain and/or loss of any rating points for either team.
There’s likely to be a lot more movement in the rankings table in the weeks ahead, with 10 fixtures remaining in the Rugby Championship between the giants of the southern hemisphere.
As for northern hemisphere sides, who are not in action again until November, England occupy the highest spot in third, followed by Ireland in fourth, France in fifth, Scotland in eighth place and 2021 Six Nations champions Wales ninth on the rankings table.
World Rugby rankings (Top 10):
1. South Africa (94.20 points)
2. New Zealand (89.29)
3. England (85.44)
4. Ireland (84.85)
5. France (83.87)
6. Argentina (83.15)
7. Australia (83.14)
8. Scotland (82.02)
9. Wales (80.59)
10. Japan (79.13)
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