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Forget The Actual World Rugby Rankings, The Telegraph Have Come Up With Their Own

Forget The Actual World Rugby Rankings, The Telegraph Have Come Up With Their Own
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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telegraph rugby rankings

Most rugby fans always have their opinions on who are the best rugby teams in the world, but in general, the rankings from World Rugby are as close to a fair reflection of anything you will ever see. They use complicated maths like multiplication and subtraction that most people forget after they leave school.

However, the Telegraph have decided this isn't for them, and have produced their own rankings. It's not clear whether the rankings are based on whether the teams have the biggest chance of winning the World Cup or not. It does only include the 20 teams in the tournament, but seem to rate teams very favourably despite extremely difficult draws.

Among the strangest changes are Ireland to fifth, keeping France in the top eight, and leaving Fiji in the top 12 despite having England, Australia and Wales in their pool. England get a boost from the national paper not wholly unreasonably due to their host status, while South Africa's playing quotas haven't damaged their chances.

Here are the Telegraph's rankings with World Rugby's Ranking in brackets.

1. New Zealand (1st, 93.70 ranking points)
telegraph rugby rankings

No arguments here.

2. South Africa (2nd, 88.23)
telegraph rugby rankings

South Africa could be faced with a tricky tournament after the SARU imposed playing quotas on the national team.

3. England (4th, 85.11)
telegraph rugby rankings

The hosts get a bump in the rankings.

4. Australia (6th, 82.95)
telegraph rugby rankings

In a tough pool, and have dropped in the rankings after all sorts of disruption, tough to rank ahead of Ireland and Wales.

5. Ireland (3rd, 85.32)
telegraph rugby rankings

Have only lost once in the last 11 games, and are currently ranked 3rd in the world with a relatively easy path to the semi finals. Tough to justify the drop.

6. Wales (5th, 83.90)
telegraph rugby rankings

Has a really tough pool, but if they qualify will fancy their chances.

7. Samoa (9th, 75.39)

Will be looking to upset Scotland and South Africa and have a talented group if they get enough backing from the Samoan union.

8. France (7th, 80.02)

France are in a mess. They are lucky that Italy also seem to be in decline.

9. Argentina (8th, 78.23)

In New Zealand's pool and will be a tough ask for the winner's of Ireland's pool in the quarter finals.

10. Scotland (10th, 75.22)

Have shown signs of improvement this Six Nations without any results.

11. Italy (14th, 72.01)

Could have threatened France, but have fallen in the last two years.

12. Fiji (12th, 74.57)

Would be a dark horse if not for the horrendous draw with Wales, England and Australia. Could shock one or two of those teams.

13. Canada (18th, 66.83)

Ranked very high, but have some young talent.

14. Japan (11th, 74.70)

Pushed the Maori All Blacks close recently and the Japanese league is growing with players migrating to European and Super Rugby. In Scotland's pool and will be tough to beat.

15. USA (16th, 67.61)

Have been improving, and the New Zealand test in Chicago will grow interest. In South Africa's pool

16. Georgia (15th, 71.27)

Strange to downgrade a team full of Top 14 props and forwards.

17. Tonga (13th, 74.12)

Will look to contest with Georgia for the final automatic qualifying spot for RWC 2019 by finishing 3rd in the pool.

18. Namibia (22nd, 58.27)

The worst ranked team in the tournament pushed Ireland close in 2007, but will be relying on Saracen's Jacques Burger.

19. Romania (17th, 67.11)

Ireland's second opponents will be looking to get a scalp off Canada.

20. Uruguay (20th, 63.58)

Stuck in the pool of death.

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