The rugby world rankings below are updated after every weekend’s action.
International rugby finds itself in an interesting place in the year after the 2019 World Cup. South Africa are the World Champions and deservedly top of the pile, with New Zealand dropping to second thanks to a number of below-par performances losses over the last few years. This year sees the 100th match between these two great rivals being played at Eden Park and it promises to be a phenomenal occasion.
England is breathing down their necks in third, and the World Cup finalists will feel they have a point to prove after losing in convincing fashion in the World Cup final. Coach Eddie Jones has two years left on his contract and will be laser focused on getting England up to number one.
In general terms, there is little separating positions four to seven in the rugby world rankings and you get the feeling it would be difficult to pick a clear winner if any of those teams had to play against each other.
Japan is full value for eight, but you get the feeling they are capable of a higher ranking than that. With a number of high profile matches lined up against higher-ranked opposition in 2020, this could be another big year for Japanese rugby.
Scotland and especially Argentina will be very disappointed with their current rugby world rankings of 9 and 10 respectively. With the Jaguares looking very good in Super Rugby, you would expect a stronger national team, considering it is made up of mostly Jaguares players. Time will tell if they have learned any lessons from last year.
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- Tomas Appleton is the rugby-playing dentist who starred for Portugal as they captivated audiences at the World Cup… with the captain meeting Cristiano Ronaldo and leading clubs now chasing their playerson November 29, 2023 at 1:20 pm
INTERVIEW BY CHRIS FOY: Tomas Appleton made his first professional appearance at Murrayfield last Friday, but the captain of Portugal was there as a rugby-playing dentist.
- Concussion: Research in women’s game lacking – World Rugbyon November 29, 2023 at 6:13 am
The game’s governing body says there is a “definite need” to close the gap in knowledge.
- Courtney Lawes will not answer a ‘SOS call’ even if England face a back-row crisis during Six Nations… but flanker is ready to play for the Lions on tour to Australia in 2025on November 29, 2023 at 12:05 am
Courtney Lawes is not going to reverse his decision to retire from Test rugby, even if England are facing a back-row emergency during the Six Nations – but he is open to playing for the Lions again.
- Lawes rules out England return but would play for British & Irish Lionsby Michael Aylwin on November 28, 2023 at 10:00 pm
Courtney Lawes willing to play in Australia in 2025 if selected‘If through some fluke I got a call I would probably do that’Courtney Lawes may have retired from international duty with England, but he would play for the British & Irish Lions in Australia in 2025 if asked. The Northampton flanker is one of only five players to have played more than 100 Tests for England, but he is not interested in answering any emergency calls from Steve Borthwick should England’s injury crisis in the back row deepen.“If, through some kind of fluke, I got another Lions call, I would probably do that,” Lawes said. “But I can’t imagine with the amount of good backrowers we have got in Great Britain & Ireland I would get on the tour anyway.” Continue reading…
- Almost 300 former rugby union players suffering with brain injuries launch joint claim for damages at High Court in Londonon November 28, 2023 at 6:12 pm
A group of 295 former rugby union players will take the next step in their claim for damages against the game’s governing bodies at the High Court in London on Friday.