There are only two games left between the Springboks and a possible fourth Webb Ellis trophy and the team received a welcome ranking boost this week in the run-up to its World Cup semi-final encounter with England.
According to World Rugby’s official standings, South Africa is once again the leading rugby nation on the international stage, followed by New Zealand in second place.
Although world no. 1 status doesn’t necessarily mean knock-out rugby success – just ask Ireland – it’s a nice windfall; especially with the World Cup coming to an end.
The Boks won precisely the best match of the tournament (so far) when they beat France 29 – 28 at the Stade de France.
“We work together as a team and we fight for each other on the playing field. We knew that it would require a special performance and we managed to do it,” said Siya Kolisi after the South Africans’ special performance against the French.
“France tested us, but our character was a feature of our game. We knew what to do – especially at the breakdown points – and I’m very proud of the guys.”
World Rugby Rankings (as at 17 October 2023):
- South Africa: 92.48 points
- New Zealand: 90.91 points
- Ireland: 90.57 points
- France: 87.81 points
- England: 84.03 points
- Scotland: 83.43 points
- Argentina: 83.07 points
- Wales: 80.64 points
- Australia: 77.48 points
- Fiji: 76.38 points