• World Rankings: Wales plummet, France up to fourth

    France have climbed past Ireland into fourth place in the World Rugby rankings following their 35-27 win in the final round of the Six Nations.

    The French finished 2019 in seventh place after getting knocked out of the World Cup by Wales in the quarter-finals.

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    An improved Six Nations campaign under new head coach Fabian Galthie had France claim a bonus-point win over Ireland in their last match and finish second to champions England on points difference.

    France’s victory has had them leapfrog Ireland into fourth place in the latest World Rugby rankings, behind England, New Zealand and South Africa.

    The All Blacks are still in second place following their 43-5 win over Australia, but have gained 0.72 points to move from 91.12 rankings points to 91.84.

    Meanwhile, Wales’ dismal Six Nations campaign has plummeted them below Scotland into eighth place.

    Under previous head coach Warren Gatland, Wales were briefly ranked as the No 1 side in the world in August 2019, but ended the year as the fourth-best side in the world after finishing fourth at the World Cup.

    Wales’ 14-10 loss to Scotland in the final round of the Six Nations in Llanelli marked their fourth consecutive defeat under Gatland’s successor Wayne Pivac.

    Scotland’s win moved them up to seventh in the rankings.

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    World Rugby rankings:

    1. South Africa (94.20 points)
    2. New Zealand (91.84)
    3. England (88.42)
    4. France (84.59)
    5. Ireland (84.10)
    6. Australia (82.19)
    7. Scotland (82.08)
    8. Wales (80.22)
    9. Japan (79.29)
    10. Argentina (78.31)

    Full rankings
    How the rankings work

    Photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images