The Springboks are steadily climbing the World Rugby rankings after two fine wins over England. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Following their 23-12 win over England in Bloemfontein on Sunday, South Africa have risen two spots to fifth in the World Rugby rankings released on Monday.

South Africa moved ahead of the touring England outfit, who fell from fourth to sixth after their second loss in a row to the Springboks. In fact, five straight international defeats have seen England slip to their lowest position since March 2016.

The Springboks have accumulated 84.65 points in the ranking period, as they close in on fourth-ranked Australia who have 85.41 points. 

Wales also jumped two spots in the rankings as they rose to third after completing a 2-0 series win in Argentina over the weekend. 

New Zealand still sit proudly at the top, on 93.99 points, after seeing off 14-man France in Wellington. Benjamin Fall’s 12th-minute dismissal left Les Bleus with a mountain to climb but they battled gamely and the final scoreline of 26-13 in the All Blacks' favour was far more respectable than the 52-11 loss seven days earlier in Auckland.

Scotland’s first-ever defeat to the USA has cost them two full rating points and a one-place fall to seventh. The Eagles would have matched their best-ever position of 14th had Tonga not defeated Samoa in the final round of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. As it is, they are now just half a point behind the ‘Ikale Tahi.

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While Fiji, Argentina, Japan and Georgia remain ranked between ninth and 12th, Italy are up one to 13th thanks to their 25-22 win over Japan in Kobe where two late penalties from Tommaso Allan proved the difference.  

Meanwhile, Samoa’s 28-18 Pacific Nations Cup defeat to Tonga cost them nearly eight-tenths of a point and 16th place with Romania the side to benefit. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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