World Rugby vice-president and former Argentina international Agustin Pichot has joined the chorus of criticism against the official Test rankings.
Both men’s and women’s World Rugby rankings are calculated using a ‘points exchange’ system, in which sides take points off each other based on match results. Whatever one side gains, the other loses.
The exchanges are based on the match result, the relative strength of each team, and the margin of victory, and there is an allowance for home advantage.
The All Blacks relinquished their position at the top of the rankings for the first time in a decade to Wales just over a week ago, despite clinching the Bledisloe Cup for a 17th successive time.
Wales, who have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953, were able to climb to first place by claiming a narrow win over England in a World Cup warm-up, which gave Warren Gatland’s team enough of a boost to usurp New Zealand by a fraction of a ranking point.
However, fans and pundits have reacted by questioning the rankings system, with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen among those reacting with confusion as to how New Zealand have dropped to second.
Speaking to Argentinian website aplenorugby.com.ar, former Argentina captain Pichot labelled the system as ridiculous and vowed to change how the rankings are decided.
‘It is a ranking that is badly done and I said it the first day I arrived at World Rugby,’ Pichot said.
‘Argentina, for example, plays all the games with the first three [New Zealand, Australia and South Africa] and Japan or Fiji win two or three games and are above Italy, who also play in a very tough tournament like the Six Nations.
‘This was demonstrated when Wales never beat New Zealand in history [since the rankings were created] and now appears first.
‘It’s ridiculous! I’m going to change it, I assure you.’