World Rugby Top 10 locked in for 2018

World Rugby Top 10 locked in for 2018

Fiji climb to their highest position of eighth in the World Rugby Rankings, while Canada return to the top 20 after securing qualification for the Rugby World Cup 2019.


A first victory over France and an all-time high of eighth in the World Rugby Rankings saw Fijian rugby conclude what had already been a marvellous year with another high in Paris on Saturday evening.

Over the last 12 months, the World Rugby Pacific Challenge and World Rugby U20 Championship titles have been won by the Fiji Warriors and Fiji U20s respectively, while Fiji Drua secured the Australia National Rugby Championship at only the second time of asking on the eve of this November's senior tour.

Eight of the players involved in the Drua's success graduated to the Flying Fijian squad and one of them, Josua Tuisova, got on the scoresheet as John McKee's side secured a famous 21-14 win over Les Bleus at the Stade de France.

With 1.55 points awarded to them, Fiji's overall score is now 77.95 points which takes them above both France and Argentina.

New Zealand end a ninth straight season on top of the rankings. It needed an All Black defeat to Italy combined with a win for Ireland over the USA for them to be dethroned but, while the Irish obliged with a 57-14 victory at the Aviva Stadium, the All Blacks were in no mood to surrender their advantage.

Wales, too, completed a historic clean sweep of wins after overcoming South Africa 20-11. 

Wales' ninth win in a row, their longest winning streak since 1999, earned them 0.54 of a rating which keeps them a fraction of a point ahead of England in third place in the rankings.

 
In what was a good November series for the Six Nations teams, England rounded off their campaign with a 37-18 win over Australia, to pick up 0.68 of a point.
 
 

South Africa and Australia stay fifth and sixth respectively despite their losses with Scotland also unchanged, in seventh, after a scrappy 14-9 win over Argentina in Murrayfield. Sean Maitland scored the only try of the game with Greig Laidlaw kicking three of his four attempts at goal.

 
 

France and Argentina drop a place to ninth and 10th.

Outside of the top 10, Georgia were the biggest climbers, moving up two places to 13th after repeating their RWC 2015 victory over Tonga. 

The Lelos lost two players to the sin-bin in the second half and were hanging on to the narrowest of leads when Zurab Zhvania crossed deep into added time to seal a 20-9 win in Tbilisi. 

Tonga fall two places to 14th enabling the USA to move to a new high of 12th despite their defeat in Dublin.

Japan's 32-27 win over Russia at Kingsholm in Gloucester, England did not affect the rankings given the large points differential between the sides. However, the Bears will take huge encouragement from pushing the Brave Blossoms so close ahead of the opening game between the nations at next year's Rugby World Cup.

 

Full Story via World Rugby

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