Japan milestone means ranking drop for Wales

(IRB) Monday 17 June 2013
 Japan milestone means ranking drop for Wales
Japan notched a historic first ever test win against Wales in Tokyo

Japan’s first-ever win over Wales has consigned their beaten opponents to a one-place slip in the latest IRB World Rankings.

The Welsh drop from fifth to sixth in the rankings after the 23-8 defeat in hot and humid conditions at Tokyo's Chichibunomiya Stadium.


Former Australian rugby league star Craig Wing scored a try against the depleted Wales side, who were shorn of 15 players involved in the British and Irish Lions tour.

Japan, hosts of the 2019 World Cup, stay in 15th but the two rating points accrued leave them just 0.38 behind world number 14, Fiji.

France profit from Wales’ loss to go fifth despite their 30-0 reverse in Christchurch against New Zealand, who remain top of the list by almost three rating points.

One place adrift of Wales are Samoa, who have now won five of their last seven matches after beating Italy.

Formidable challenge

The 39-10 victory over the Italians in the four-nation tournament in South Africa leaves the islanders less than one rating point behind Wales, but their next opponents present a formidable challenge - the Springboks, a side the Samoans have never beaten.

South Africa accounted for Scotland 30-17 on Saturday, although the visitors did lead 17-6 at one stage in the second half. The sides stay second and 11th in the world respectively with unchanged points.

Meanwhile, Ireland maintained eighth place in the world with a 40-14 triumph over Canada in Toronto.

The result, played in front of a crowd of 20,396 - a record for a rugby match on Canadian soil - ended the home side’s recent run of victories against Tonga, Fiji, USA and Russia but leaves them unchanged at 13th in the world. 

Italy and Tonga, 10th and 12th before the weekend, swapped places thanks to Tonga’s 18-9 win over USA in the Pacific Nations Cup.

The Tongans are now snapping at the heels of Argentina, who stay ninth in the world but with a reduced points total after England won 51-26 in Buenos Aires to complete a 2-0 series clean sweep.

Qualifying action

In Africa, there was qualifying action for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Dakar during the week, involving Senegal, Namibia, Tunisia and Botswana, but only Tunisia’s place in the world rankings changed – they rise one spot to 42nd after a 43-12 win over Botswana and a 45-13 loss to Namibia.

Finally, Uganda won the first match in their defence of the Elgon Cup by edging past Kenya 17-16, rising from 41 to 37 in the process as the losers drop three places to 40

- The IRB World Rankings are published every Monday at midday UK time.