Wales have dropped to eighth in the World Rugby Rankings despite an impressive tournament that saw Warren Gatland’s side narrowly miss out on a place in the final after losing 9-8 to France in the semi-final.
The semi saw Wales captain Sam Warburton red carded for a spear tackle but although down to 14 men for the majority of the game Wales were still in with a chance of winning. That defeat, coupled with the opening match of Wales’ tournament against South Africa where they again played the better rugby but ended up second best has seen their rankings slide from six prior to the World Cup start, to 8th.
Ironically, Ireland, whom Wales defeated in the quarter final, have replaced Wales as 6th best in the World although Brian O’Driscoll’s men did beat Australia in the group stages as well as finishing their respective group as top.
New Zealand, winners of the 2011 competition remain number one in the World whilst France are second and Australia third with South Africa and England making up fourth and fifth respectively.