Cyprus Mail

England hit rankings low ahead of Rugby World Cup

england v fiji world cup warm up
The 30-22 loss to Fiji was England's fifth defeat in their past six matches

If a first defeat by Fiji was not bad enough, England have also fallen behind the Pacific Islanders in the World Rugby rankings, with Steve Borthwick’s side dropping to eighth – their joint-lowest ever position.

England, who begin their World Cup campaign against Argentina on Sept. 9, were beaten 30-22 by Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday to drop two places in the rankings from sixth.

They were last ranked eighth in 2015 following their early World Cup exit on home soil.

Fiji moved up two places to seventh and Argentina also went past England up to sixth spot following their crushing 62-3 win over Spain.

South Africa and France moved up to second and third behind top-ranked Ireland following wins over New Zealand and Australia, with the All Blacks dropping two places to fourth and the Wallabies down from eighth to ninth.

Scotland and Wales remained fifth and 10th respectively.

The top four teams – Ireland, South Africa, France and New Zealand – are separated by less than three ranking points.

The World Cup runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 28 in France.

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