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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Jasper Wiese’s lunacy costs Leicester an historic win after grabbing Zach Mercer’s
on April 18, 2021 at 11:18 pm
Steve Borthwick rejected the chance to coach the Lions this summer and, on this evidence, still has plenty to do to revive another big beast – the Tigers throwing away their first win here for a decade.
CHRIS FOY: The Premiership’s stand-off with the Lions is nothing more than a money-grabbing exercise
on April 18, 2021 at 10:28 pm
The time has come for another demonstration of player power to avert the threat of injustice over Lions selection.
Doncaster 15-50 Saracens: Owen Farrell leads Sarries to huge win
on April 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm
Owen Farrell was praised for contributing ‘beautifully’ to this half-century Saracens win which enhances their promotion quest – on his first club game since September.
Ben Spencer’s last-minute kick snatches dramatic Bath win over Leicester
by Alex Bywater at the Recreation Ground on April 18, 2021 at 4:40 pm
Bath 21-20 LeicesterMercer shines; Spencer’s conversion keeps play-off hopes aliveZach Mercer will turn his back on English rugby when he leaves Bath for Montpellier this summer and on the evidence here, he will be a huge miss for his current club and country.Many have questioned some of Eddie Jones’s selections after England’s awful fifth-placed Six Nations finish last month. The last of Mercer’s two Tests came in 2018 and he is clearly not rated by Jones, but his performance as Bath edged their old rivals Leicester was certainly international standard. Jones may not care that Mercer is departing for France but Bath certainly do. The 23-year-old No 8 was everywhere against the Tigers as Ben Spencer’s conversion won it for the home side at the death. Related: Kyran Bracken: ‘Head injury is the silent killer, players don’t know whether they have it’ Continue reading…
Premiership: Bath 21-20 Leicester Tigers – Will Muir brace of tries secures victory
on April 18, 2021 at 4:24 pm
Ben Spencer converts late try to give Bath a 21-20 win over Leicester and keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish.