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Wales take top spot on World Rugby Rankings for first time

Wales will move to the top of the World Rugby Rankings when the official update is issued on Monday after a gutsy 13-6 win over England.

The Springboks moved back into fourth ahead of England after their 24-18 win over Argentina.

The All Blacks scored five unanswered tries to retain the Bledisloe Cup with a 36-0 thrashing of Australia in Auckland on Saturday, but lost top spot.

All Blacks coach confused by World Rugby Rankings

All Black coach Steve Hansen said that he was unsure exactly how the rankings worked but was more concerned with getting his team ready for the World Cup.

“I’ve never understood their (ranking) system. You win a game and you lose the top ranking,” Hansen said while spelling out the All Blacks’ priority. 

“We just need to get ourselves in the right frame of mind to go to the World Cup and win that.” 

Gatland also not concerned by rankings

Wales coach Warren Gatland said he was more pleased with the guts his team showed in their victory over England than claiming the top ranking.

The All Blacks had held the spot for almost a decade — reaching the pinnacle in the standings in November 2009.

Gatland didn’t place too much stock in the rankings, as he like Hansen prepares his side for the Rugby World Cup. The Welsh coach said his team wouldn’t make too much of it because the rankings are seen as a bit of a joke.

“It’s just a number, isn’t it,” he said.

“It is a nice accolade to have, but it is all about the next few months and backing that up by performing well in the World Cup, and we’ve a couple of games against Ireland to go as well.

“It’s nice for a day, but we won’t be shouting from the rooftops about it. We have got to keep things in perspective.

“Lots of journalists will be out there saying ‘this is a joke’ — probably Kiwi journalists more than anything! It’s just a number.”

Gatland’s England counterpart Eddie Jones made a joke the achievment.

“They’re favourites for the World Cup now. When you go to number one, you’re favourites for the World Cup,” said the Australian.

cf575c16 world rugby rankings - Wales take top spot on World Rugby Rankings for first time
Wales top the world rugby rankings for the first time in their history. Image: World Rugby

Wales face a difficult task to hold onto their top spot as they prepare for two more Rugby World Cup warm-up Tests this time against Ireland, home and away.

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