The rugby world rankings below are updated after every weekend’s action.

International Rankings

1South Africa94.19
2New Zealand92.11
World rugby rankings

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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Latest rugby news

  • Rugby Championship – New Zealand 19-17 South Africa: All Blacks seal title with late penalty
    on September 25, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    New Zealand win the Rugby Championship with a 19-17 win over world champions South Africa in Queensland.

  • Australia cruise to victory over Argentina to keep unbeaten run going
    by Reuters on September 25, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Rugby Championship: Australia 27-8 ArgentinaConfident Wallabies make it three wins in a rowAustralia rode an early two-try burst to record a comfortable 27-8 victory over Argentina in the Rugby Championship in Townsville, winning three successive Tests for the first time in four years.If the match lacked the quality of the New Zealand-South Africa game that preceded it at North Queensland Stadium, the Wallabies will be satisfied with a win to back up two victories over the Springboks. Continue reading…

  • Wallabies continue unbeaten run against Pumas: Rugby Championship 2021 – as it happened
    by Jonathan Howcroft on September 25, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Australia 27-8 ArgentinaNew Zealand 19-17 South AfricaOn the Australian TV broadcast there are regular advertorials promoting Townsville, and I’m not going to lie, they make me want to run to Melbourne airport and fly there immediately. By the looks of those socks, I reckon Argentina are going to be in the darker of their two uniforms, which means we’re at risk of a bit of a messy kit clash with Australia in First Nations green. Continue reading…

  • All Blacks v Springboks rivalry endures even as history fades to mythology | Daniel Gallan
    by Daniel Gallan on September 25, 2021 at 11:02 am

    The 100th collision of a relationship stretching back 100 years transcends the pitch in ways very few in any sport can matchThe match began with Kapa o Pango, an iteration of the haka first performed in 2005 for the Tri-Nations encounter between South Africa and New Zealand. It sparked mild controversy at the time for the closing gesture in the sequence which sees All Black players rake their thumb across their neck. The official line is that this symbolises the drawing of energy into the heart and lungs but it unmistakably resembles the intimidatory act of throat-slitting.Rugby union has long been guilty of self-aggrandisement. Devotees of the oval ball still speak of the game as if it exists in the bygone era of the amateur gentleman, conveniently ignoring the swathes of advertisements littering players’ jerseys or their eye-watering salaries. Romantics still believe referees are afforded more respect than officials in other sports or that ingrained values place this pastime on a moral pedestal. Continue reading…

  • All Blacks deny Springboks at the death in Rugby Championship
    by Reuters on September 25, 2021 at 9:29 am

    New Zealand 19-17 South AfricaAll Blacks unbeaten after five rounds of Rugby ChampionshipNew Zealand narrowly justified their No 1 world ranking with a hard-fought 19-17 win over world champions South Africa in Townsville on Saturday to secure the Rugby Championship title with a match to spare.The 100th Test between union’s two most successful nations did not disappoint and it was not until full-back Jordie Barrett kicked his fourth penalty two minutes from time that the All Blacks took the lead for the final time. Continue reading…