South Africa's Siya Kolisi celebrates after the Rugby World Cup semifinal at International Yokohama Stadium. Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

YOKOHAMA – To sweeten the title of Rugby World Cup (RWC) champions, the top spot in the rankings will also be up for grabs in the final between South Africa and England in Yokohama on Saturday.

England returned to the summit for the first time since June 2004 after booking their ticket to a third Rugby World Cup final with a dominant 19-7 defeat of New Zealand last weekend.

However, their time at the summit will end if South Africa continue their trend of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup every 12 years since their victorious debut in 1995.

The Springboks have not topped the rankings since November 16, 2009 – the day New Zealand replaced them and began a 509-week reign as the number one-ranked team. 

Department of Art and Culture employees singing and dancing, happy for the upcoming rugby final game between the Springboks and England in Japan on Saturday. Photo: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

Both teams can record their highest-ever rating in victory, although England would have to win by more than 15 points to break their 94.00 tally set back in March 2004.

During RWC 2019, where points exchanges are doubled to reflect the importance of the tournament, the World Rugby Rankings will update after every match. 

African News Agency (ANA)