Springboks return to top ranking spot for the first time in a decade
11 months ago
The Springboks have returned to the number one spot on World Rugby’s Rankings after their RWC final win over England in Yokohama.
The Springboks have moved to the top of the World Rugby Rankings for the first time since 2009 following their 32-12 win over England in the Rugby World Cup final.
Heading into the match, the Springboks were provisionally ranked third after the All Blacks beat Wales 40-17 to claim the bronze medal match and move back to the top. England held the top spot for just one week having dethroned the New Zealand courtesy of their semifinal triumph.
Springboks number one
Saturday’s 32-12 victory over England in the final saw the Springboks awarded 3.48 rating points to put them ahead of New Zealand.
The Springboks’ third Rugby World Cup triumph boosted their rankings score to 94.19 points – 6.85 points more than when their campaign began with the side back in fourth place in the rankings, while the All Blacks finished the tournament as they were at the start, in second place, but with an improved score of 92.11 points.
After the best part of two months in Japan, England are also unchanged in third place, despite having briefly climbed to the top of the rankings following their epic semifinal win over the All Blacks, while Wales end the tournament one place higher in fourth.
Away from the big stage
Outside of the Rugby World Cup, three matches in the Rugby Europe region counted towards the rankings.
Germany, who were relegated to the Rugby Europe Trophy last season, began life in the third tier of European rugby with a 35-15 win over Poland in Lodz.
Fielding a side unrecognisable from the one that competed in the RWC 2019 repechage last year, Germany outscored their hosts four tries to two with wing Felix Lammers crossing twice in the space of five minutes towards the end of the first half. Germany’s other tries came from openside Nicolas Rinklin and replacement Oliver Paine, while fly-half Nikolai Klewinghaus kicked 15 points.
Germany’s first win since they beat Kenya 43-6 in the repechage just under a year ago was worth one-and-a-third rating points but they remain in 28th place in the rankings, still just over a point behind Belgium. Poland drop two places to 37th, however, with Ukraine and Czechia the sides to benefit.
Elsewhere, Sweden’s 13-0 home reverse to Luxembourg in Conference 1 North led to them falling from 47th to 53rd with the winners climbing five places to 56th.
In the division below, Austria claimed a 38-9 win over Norway to move above Finland and into 87th place, while the Norwegians fall one place to 98th.