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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Cameron Neild: Sale Sharks forward signs new two-year contract
on June 21, 2021 at 3:41 pm
Sale forward Cameron Neild signs a new contract to remain with the Premiership club until the end of the 2023 season.
Leicester captain Tom Youngs hit with two-week ban for disrespecting a match official
on June 21, 2021 at 3:06 pm
Youngs, who admitted to being ’embarrassed’ by his behaviour, pleaded guilty to conduct that was ‘prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game’ at an online independent disciplinary hearing.
Leicester Tigers: Premiership club sign Juan Pablo Socino and Bryce Hegarty
on June 21, 2021 at 12:52 pm
Premiership club Leicester Tigers sign Argentina international Juan Pablo Socino and Australian Bryce Hegarty.
Tom Youngs: Leicester hooker accepts two-week ban for disrespecting match official
on June 21, 2021 at 11:24 am
Tom Youngs accepts a charge of disrespecting a match official during Leicester’s game with Bristol in June.
Red erring: players the losers in rugby’s card-happy campaign for a safer game | Michael Aylwin
by Michael Aylwin on June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am
Much-vaunted policy of sending players off for head contact has resulted in plenty of bans but little meaningful change This weekend Sam Skinner should be lacing his boots to play for Exeter in a Premiership final. But in the last round of the regular season, he bent his 6ft 5in frame to tackle a 5ft 7in scrum‑half. He caught him in the head and thus became the latest player to be shown a red card. Skinner misses the climax of the season because of the mandatory ban. And he can forget about any call-ups to play for the Lions or Scotland this summer, too. It is a rank injustice, at which far too many are prepared to shrug their shoulders while repeating some mantra, handed down from on high, about these red cards being for the players’ own good. There is no evidence so far to suggest this. Related: ‘They are going to come after you’: a doctor’s advice on rugby’s battle over brain injuries Related: Tadhg Furlong: ‘You don’t want to ram your views down players’ or coaches’ throats’ Continue reading…