Rugby World Cup 2019 hosts Japan equal their best-ever World Rugby Ranking after winning the Pacific Nations Cup while England moved up a place after ending Wales' record winning run.
Wales failed to grasp their opportunity to go top of the world rankings as England claimed a 33-19 win over Warren Gatland's side. Australia's win over the All Blacks on Saturday meant Wales could end the weekend as the highest-ranked test side but they had to beat England to retain top spot. Had England scored one more point against Wales, Ireland would have moved into second place in the World rankings with Wales dropping to third.
Japan continued their impressive pre-Rugby World Cup 2019 form by dispatching the USA 34-20 in Suva to claim the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup and also earn enough rating points to leapfrog Fiji, who ended the tournament with a 10-3 win against Samoa, and Argentina in the rankings.
With an overall rating of 77.21 points, Jamie Joseph's side now find themselves ranked ninth, equalling their previous best position which was last held in February 2016, five months after they'd shocked the rugby world with their stunning RWC 2015 victory over the Springboks in Brighton.
The Wallabies' record equalling 47-26 win over New Zealand in the first Bledisloe Cup test of 2019 on Saturday has marked them down as credible challengers at the World Cup but did little to their rankings as they were unable to climb the rankings earning two-and-a-half points leaving them in sixth place behind South Africa.
Even though South Africa picked up just over half a rating point for their Rugby Championship title-clinching 46-13 victory against Argentina in Salta, the 1.07 points awarded to England was enough for them to trade places with the Springboks and move up to fourth. Wales stay in second place but are just two-tenths of a point ahead of Ireland, who beat Italy 29-10 in Dublin on Saturday.
Despite the defeat, Italy moved up to 13th in the rankings as the USA's failure to win a first Pacific Nations Cup title cost them six-tenths of a point.
Via: World Rugby