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France take No.1 spot as All Blacks sink to lowest ever rank

By Ian Cameron
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 20: Antoine Dupont of France makes a break during the Autumn Nations Series match between France and New Zealand at the Stade de France on November 20, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Fabien Galthie’s France will officially become the best team in the world when World Rugby update their rankings tomorrow.

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Les Bleus usurp the World Champions Springboks, drop to third in the log care of a 12-13 home loss to Wales. France scraped by Japan 15-20 in Tokyo, to sweep their hosts in their two-game series.

The Six Nations Grand Slam winners climb to number one for the first time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003.

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Ian Foster fronts the media after the loss to Ireland in the second test | All Blacks press conference
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Ian Foster fronts the media after the loss to Ireland in the second test | All Blacks press conference

South Africa’s narrow loss to Wales care of a last-minute Gareth Anscombe penalty sees Jacques Nienaber’s side drop to third.

Ireland’s victory over New Zealand in Dunedin sees them jump to second, while the All Blacks slide down to fourth, their lowest ever ranking.

In fact, Ireland would have claimed the number one spot were it not for conceding a late try to the All Blacks, which meant their margin of victory was less than 15 points.

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It’s incredibly close at the top of the rankings, with any of the four teams capable of taking the top spot two weekends in a row.

England swapped places with Australia again after their victory over the Wallabies in the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Eddie Jones’ men climb to fifth, as Australia fall back to sixth. The Wallabies will snatch the place next weekend if they win the decider in Sydney.

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Wayne Pivac’s Wales, in ninth place coming into the weekend, will climb at one place to eighth. They will replace Argentina, who will drop from seventh all the way down to¬† 10th, while Scotland leapfrog them into seventh.

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Japan, despite their loss to France, climb to ninth.

Georgia, who play Italy today in Batumi, will climb one place with victory over the Azzurri, regaining the place lost to the Italians last weekend.

Samoa remain the higher-ranked than Tonga, a fact that wouldn’t have changed even if they had lost to their island neighbours. They won the game 34 – 18.

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