The Springboks’ No 1 spot in the world is under threat from France, after Les Bleus replaced the All Blacks in second place behind South Africa in World Rugby’s official standings.
With a third of a ratings point earned for their 25-13 Grand Slam-winning victory over England in Paris on Saturday, France now have 88.88 points compared to New Zealand’s 88.75.
France are now set for their longest run at No 2 in the rankings having last occupied the position for one week in October 2007. Les Bleus have never been at No 1 but are now only 1.72 points behind the Boks at the top of the rankings.
Six Nations 2022 runners-up Ireland remain in fourth, only a fraction more than half a point away from the All Blacks, following their 26-5 home win over Scotland. The gap in the rankings between Ireland and fifth-placed England is now 3.72 points, while Scotland stay in seventh.
Having lost to Italy on home soil for the first time in history, Wales have now dropped below Argentina to ninth place. Italy’s historic 22-21 win in Cardiff ended a 36-game losing run in the Six Nations, but it did not improve their position in the rankings, the Azzurri staying in 14th.
A higher ranking would have been possible had Georgia lost Sunday’s Rugby Europe Championship 2022 decider to Spain. However, the Lelos made no mistake against their fellow Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifiers, winning 49-15 to secure a fifth consecutive title. The victory also moves Georgia above Samoa into 12th place.
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