The Springboks sign autographs ahead of their groundbreaking match in the USA. Photo: @Springboks in twitter

PARIS – Following their 22-20 defeat to Wales in Washington DC on Saturday, South Africa have dropped to an all-time low at seventh in the World Rugby Rankings.

The victory for the Welsh was their third consecutive win over the Springboks and was worth 1.05 rating points – enough to lift them above the Springboks and Scotland into fifth place, their highest ranking since February last year.

South Africa, who fielded seven debutants in an experimental starting line-up, dropped one spot from last week's position of sixth.

Tries from Hallam Amos and debutant Tomos Williams helped Wales into a 14-3 lead at the break, but South Africa fought back strongly and Travis Ismaiel and Makazole Mapimpi scored to put them in the ascendancy.

However, replacement Robert du Preez gifted Wales the win when his clearance kick was charged down and the ball fell kindly to Elias.

The Springboks do stretches during their training session in Johannesburg last week. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/EPA
The Springboks do stretches during their training session in Johannesburg last week. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Wales now travel to Argentina for two tests against Los Pumas, on June 9 and 16, while South Africa face England at home in a three-test series.

The only other match to count towards the rankings over the last seven days came in the Asia Rugby Championship where Hong Kong beat Korea 39-5 to claim their maiden title.

As Asian champions, Hong Kong now progress to a home-and-away Asia/Oceania play-off with the Cook Islands for the right to enter the four-team RWC 2019 global repechage tournament in November.

Hong Kong remain in 22nd place in the rankings, having only been able to improve their rating by three-hundredths. Korea stay 31st. 

African News Agency (ANA)


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