TOKYO, 30 Sep - Wales have returned to second place in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings after beating Australia 29-25 in an enthralling Pool D match at Tokyo Stadium on Sunday.
Captain Alun Wyn Jones became his country’s most-capped player as he made his 130th test appearance in the Welsh red in a victory that lifts the Six Nations champions two places.
They swap places with Ireland, who drop to fourth after being stunned 19-12 by Rugby World Cup 2019 hosts Japan in Shizuoka on Saturday.
That victory lifted Japan not only to the top of Pool A but also one place to eighth – their highest position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003 – at Scotland’s expense.
Meanwhile, Georgia have equalled their best of 11th after a combination of their 33-7 defeat of Uruguay and Fiji’s surprise loss to the same opponents.
With points exchanges doubled during Rugby World Cups to reflect the importance of the tournament, Fiji’s defeat to a team that were nine places below them before kick-off has resulted in a two-place drop to 12th.
Uruguay climbed two places on the back of that win – only their third in RWC history and first for 16 years – but slipped back one to 18th after losing to Georgia.
The only other positional change saw Samoa climb above their fellow Pacific Islanders Tonga after they beat Russia 34-9 and the ‘Ikale Tahi lost 28-12 to Argentina.
The four other RWC 2019 matches over the last seven days – Wales’ 43-14 win over Georgia, England’s 45-7 defeat of USA, Italy’s 48-7 win over Canada and South Africa’s 57-3 victory against Namibia – did not impact the rankings because of the rating difference between the sides.
During Rugby World Cup 2019, the World Rugby Men’s Rankings will update after every match.