South Africa’s Springboks moved down one place to fifth in the latest World Rugby rankings released on Monday, 26 August 2019.
Meanwhile, England’s magnificent victory over Ireland at the weekend not only raised expectations ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019, but also elevated them into third spot.
Having secured a winning margin of over 15 points, England traded places with Ireland to move into third.
Wales still maintain their place at the summit, with New Zealand in second position.
Importantly, though, England’s victory has narrowed the gap between themselves and top-ranked Wales to only 1.30 points.
With Ireland dropping to fourth on the rankings, they are followed by South Africa’s Springboks in fifth and Australia in sixth position.
As for Africa’s teams, Zimbabwe’s imperious form continued on Saturday with a 32-26 win over Uganda.
The Sables’ fourth straight victory in the four-nation Victoria Cup cements their place at the top of the standings and also sees them climb up a place in the rankings to 32nd.
Zimbabwe scored tries through forwards Blithe Mavesere, Keith Murray, Godfrey Muzanargwo and Matthew Mandioma, and captain Hilton Mudariki kicked two conversions and a penalty, while flyhalf Dudlee White-Sharpley also chipped in with five points from a penalty and a conversion.
But the prolific kicking of talented Uganda fullback Philip Wokorach, who contributed 16 points from four penalties and two conversions, to add to two tries from centre Michael Wokorach and flanker Byron Oketayot, meant the result was in doubt right up until the final whistle.
Uganda drop below the Ivory Coast, while Kenya also find themselves down one as a result of Zimbabwe gaining just under a third of a rating point in victory.
Other than staying in contention for the Victoria Cup, Kenya did not get any reward for their 31-16 win over the much lower-ranked Zambia.
Latest World Rugby rankings:
1. Wales 89.43
2. New Zealand 89.40
3. England 88.13
4. Ireland 87.36
5. South Africa 86.83
6. Australia 84.05
7. Scotland 79.87
8. France 79.72
9. Japan 77.21
10. Fiji 76.98
Other African nations:
23. Namibia 61.01
32. Zimbabwe 51.74
33. Kenya 51.44 – African News Agency (ANA