Gatland: Journalists will say No 1 ranking is a joke, but Wales not making a fuss
CARDIFF – Wales will not be boasting about their new No 1 status, having risen to the top of the world after beating England in Cardiff.
When the world rankings were updated on Monday, Wales sat at the summit for the first time in their history – with New Zealand dropping to No 2 for the first time since November 2009.
Ireland are third and South Africa moved up to fourth after beating Argentina at the weekend, with England dropping down to fifth.
But the Welsh are refusing to get carried away.
“I would prefer to be there at the start of November,” said hooker Ken Owens, referring to the World Cup final on November 2.
“But it is now just a table and something to talk about. We are pretty happy.
“We know we have to improve again, and we are not the finished article yet.”
Wales have only lost one Test in their last 16, against England last week, but head coach Warren Gatland said their ascent will no doubt annoy New Zealanders.
Wales have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953, and have only triumphed over the three-time world champions on three occasions, the others coming in 1905 and 1935.
“Lots of journalists will be out there saying, ‘This is a joke’ – probably Kiwi journalists more than anything!’ Gatland said.
“It’s just a number. We’re not making a big fuss of it.
“It’s a nice accolade to have, but it’s all about backing it up in the World Cup. We’ve got to keep things in perspective.”