[QODLink]
Rugby Union

New Zealand top rankings as Wales slide

Wales drop into third tier with defeat against Australia while All Blacks remain top of the pile in IRB world rankings.
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2012 19:35
Reigning world champions New Zealand are top ranked side ahead of South Africa and Australia [EPA]

New Zealand remained top of the International Rugby Board's rankings ahead of Monday's pool draw for the 2015 World Cup in England despite ending this year with a stunning 38-21 defeat by England.

Saturday's Twickenham trouncing was not enough to knock the reigning world champions off the summit and nor was it sufficient for fifth-placed England to break into the top four of the standings.

Meanwhile, Wales's 14-12 loss to Australia in Cardiff dropped them into ninth place and the third tier of seeds.

This could potentially hamper the chances of Wales, semi-finalists at last year's World Cup in New Zealand, reaching the knockout stages in three years' time as they will now face two currently higher-ranked sides in their pool, with only two going through to the quarter-finals.

Wales had to beat Australia on Saturday to avoid slipping from seventh place and they were on course for that victory at 12-9 ahead until Kurtley Beale's try with just 20 seconds left on the clock at the Millennium Stadium rescued a 14-12 win for the Wallabies.

Defeat dropped Wales below Samoa and Argentina in the IRB standings.

World Cup pool draw bands:

Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Ireland, Samoa, Argentina
Band 3: Wales, Italy, Tonga, Scotland

IRB rankings after Saturday's matches: (position, country, ranking points):

1 New Zealand 90.08
2 South Africa 86.94
3 Australia 86.87
4 France 85.07
5 England 83.90
6 Ireland 80.22
7 Samoa 78.71
8 Argentina 78.71
9 Wales 78.39
10 Italy 76.24
11 Tonga 76.10
12 Scotland 75.83

267

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.

Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list