The Rugby World Cup is over for another four years, with South Africa emerging victorious after seven weeks of blood, sweat, and tears.
The Springboks only suffered one loss while in France, a close loss to Ireland in the pool stages. However, they overcame the hosts and England in the elimination stages and managed to defeat New Zealand 12–11 in a thrilling Paris final on Saturday. They have also won in Japan four years ago, in 2007 and 1995, making them the only men’s team to win the competition four times.
Not unexpectedly, given that they began the competition in third place behind France and Ireland, their dominance in this year’s event has propelled them to the top of the global standings. Register for WalesOnline’s daily rugby newsletter here to receive the most recent rugby news delivered right to your email.
As far as the rankings go, the Boks are actually in a class of their own thanks to their tight victory over New Zealand, which earned them an additional 1.75 ranking points. They now have an overall score of 94.54, almost four points ahead of everybody else.
Though they were the tournament runners-up, the All Blacks are not the side in second place in the standings after losing in the final; instead, they are in third position. Nor is it Argentina or England, who faced off in Friday night’s Bronze Final.
Instead, Ireland, led by Andy Farrell, is in second place. They were the top-ranked team going into the tournament, and their quarterfinal loss to New Zealand only made them worse. As a result, they are still ranked as the greatest team in the Six Nations, with France in fourth place following a dismal home tournament.
Conversely, following their victory over the Pumas to secure a third-place finish at the World Cup, England maintained their ranking among the top five teams in the world. After losing just one game in France, Steve Borthwick’s team, who started the tournament in ninth place after being humiliated by Fiji at Twickenham, is now well ahead of Scotland in sixth place.
Only 0.04 points separate Argentina and Wales, who they eliminated from the competition in the quarterfinals. Argentina is currently ranked seventh. Just two months ago, Warren Gatland’s team was hanging onto a top-10 spot. While they would have preferred to have progressed further in the competition, the jump to eighth place is a significant improvement, putting them well ahead of teams like Australia, Fiji, and Italy. As the 2024 Six Nations approaches, the top five spots are still very much within reach.
The latest World Rugby rankings in full