One year after clinching the 2019 Rugby World Cup title in Japan, the Springboks still find themselves atop the World Rugby rankings.
Truth be told, they haven’t played a single Test in the past 12 months having taken the No 1 spot after beating England 32-12 in Yokohama on November 2, 2019.
ALL BLACKS SECOND, ENGLAND IN THIRD
However, there have been a number of Tests played over the past month, particularly the Bledisloe Cup, the start of the Tri-Nations and the conclusion of the Six Nations.
Despite clinching an 18th consecutive Bledisloe Cup, the All Blacks remain second, while England, winners of the delayed Six Nations, find themselves in third place.
France have climbed past Ireland into fourth place following their 35-27 win in the final round of the Six Nations.
An improved Six Nations campaign under new head coach Fabian Galthie saw France claim a bonus-point win against Ireland in their last match and finished second to England on points difference.
The Wallabies, who looked impressive in drawing 16-all with the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash in Wellington, subsequently lost 27-7 and 43-5 in Auckland and Sydney, respectively.
Dave Rennie’s side find themselves in sixth place with another daunting clash against their cross-Tasman rivals in Brisbane this weekend.
Wales’ dismal Six Nations campaign has seen them fall below Scotland into eighth place.
Under previous head coach Warren Gatland, Wales were briefly ranked as the No 1 side in the world in August 2019.
Wales’ 14-10 loss to Scotland in the final round of the Six Nations marked their fourth consecutive defeat under Gatland’s successor, Wayne Pivac.
Japan and Argentina round out the top 10.
World Rugby rankings:
1. South Africa (94.20 points)
2. New Zealand (91.84)
3. England (88.42)
4. France (84.59)
5. Ireland (84.10)
6. Australia (82.19)
7. Scotland (82.08)
8. Wales (80.22)
9. Japan (79.29)
10. Argentina (78.31)