Johannesburg – The Springboks climbed one position to second in the latest IRB World Rankings released on Monday.
The South Africans fought back from a 12-3 half-time deficit to beat Ireland 16-12 in Dublin on Saturday in the first match of their year-end tour.
World champions New Zealand remained in top spot in the rankings, more than seven points clear of the Boks.
Australia, meanwhile, dropped to third after a crushing 33-6 defeat to France in Paris, with Les Bleus leapfrogging England into fourth position.
England fell to fifth despite picking up a comfortable 54-12 win over Fiji at Twickenham.
South Africa face Scotland in their next Test in Edinburgh on Saturday. – Sapa