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England slide down world rankings
ESPNscrum Staff
October 10, 2011

England's early World Cup exit has seen them fall to sixth in the latest world standings, with Wales taking up the mantle of being the highest-ranked northern hemisphere nation.

France are the big movers, rising three places to fifth after beating England 19-12 in the World Cup on Saturday, and fellow semi-finalists Australia and Wales have also been rewarded for getting the better of higher-ranked opponents at the weekend by moving up to second and fourth respectively.

Martin Johnson's England have dropped two places from fourth, while Ireland - still reeling from their last-eight defeat to Wales in Wellington - have slipped two spots to seventh. Beaten quarter-finalists South Africa have been leapfrogged by southern hemisphere rivals Australia and now only sit above Wales in the standings by just over a point.

New Zealand still lead the way but the All Blacks' lead at the top of the standings has been trimmed to 3.42 points owing to Australia's advancement to the semi-final stage of the World Cup.

IRB World Rankings
1. New Zealand 2. Australia 3. South Africa 4. Wales 5. France 6. England 7. Ireland 8. Argentina 9. Tonga 10. Scotland 11. Samoa 12. Italy 13. Canada 14. Georgia 15. Japan 16. Fiji 17. USA 18. Romania 19. Namibia 20. Portugal

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