France have unseated the world champion Springboks as Test rugby’s No 1-ranked side in the official world rankings.
The Springboks dropped from first to third on the Test log after a heavily changed side suffered a 13-12 loss to Wales in Bloemfontein. It was Wales’ first-ever win in South Africa.
The loss also allowed France, who held out for a 20-15 win away to Japan in Tokyo, to climb to the top of the rankings for the first time since the system was introduced in 2003.
Ireland’s first-ever win in New Zealand, meanwhile, had them jump to second, while the All Blacks were demoted to fourth place, their lowest-ever ranking. Ireland would have been able to claim first place, were it not for conceding a late try to the All Blacks, which meant their margin of victory was less than 15 points.
England and Australia swapped places once again after Eddie Jones’ team bounced back from their series-opening victory with a hard-fought win in Brisbane. England are back to fifth on the log, while Australia have dropped to sixth, but the Wallabies can reclaim their place if they win the third and final Test of the series.
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