england third

England move up to third in the World Rugby Rankings and Fiji return to the top 10 after a breathtaking weekend of international rugby.

England replace South Africa in third place in the World Rugby Rankings after their first-ever win over Australia in Brisbane was combined with the Springboks’ loss to 14-man Ireland in Cape Town.


England’s 39-28 victory at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday increased their rating points by 1.77 points to 86.37. Unbeaten in seven games under Eddie Jones, England are now 0.71 of a point better off than South Africa and just over one point behind Australia, who they would have overtaken too, had they managed to put five more points on the Rugby World Cup 2015 runner-up.

Ireland, playing with 14 men for the best part of an hour following the dismissal of South African-born flanker CJ Stander midway through the first half, produced a superb performance to ruin Allister Coetzee’s debut as Springboks head coach. Tries from Jared Payne and Conor Murray and 16 points from the boot of Paddy Jackson saw them to a famous 26-20 victory at Newlands which also earned them two full rating points.

Unfortunately for Ireland, the heroic effort in Cape Town was not quite enough to lift them any higher than their current position of seventh in the rankings. However, Joe Schmidt’s side are just less than two tenths of a point behind Wales, whose total remains unchanged despite their 39-21 loss to the All Blacks, who also stay as they were at the top of the rankings.