Cup finalists France up to third in rankings

WORLD Cup finalists France have jumped into the top three of the IRB world rankings following their semi-final victory over Wales.

Having dropped to eighth after their shock loss to Tonga in the pool stages, France have clawed their way up the rankings courtesy of wins against England and Wales. Les Blues became the first nation in 16 months to break the Tri-Nations stranglehold on the top three spots, with the Springboks the team dropping to fourth.

It is the first time the South Africans have slipped out of the top three since the beginning of Rugby World Cup 2007. Wales have dropped two places to sixth, the position they occupied when they arrived in New Zealand, after missing out on a first ever Rugby World Cup final appearance, with England climbing one spot as a result while Ireland remain in seventh spot.

New Zealand, who would have surrendered top spot with defeat to Australia, now have a cushion of 4.85 rating points over the Aussies at the top of the rankings.

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