The November Internationals are at an end as Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland all ended their campaigns with a victory. There was a huge shock in France as Fiji made history with a remarkable 21-14 win, and it all paints an intriguing picture ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
The 2015 World Cup was southern hemisphere dominated, as the four-semi finalists were made up of Rugby Championship teams. The top team in three out of four pools were also southern hemisphere teams but their supremacy is waning as the gap has gradually closed.
Come Monday, the world rugby rankings will see three Six Nations teams in the top four. Ireland will maintain second, with Wales in third and England in fourth.
Via the Rugby4cast predictor, the striking takeaway over the past year is the drop for Argentina and Australia. The Wallabies suffered losses against England and Wales to compound a disappointing season while Argentina were beaten by Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
How the World Rankings will look come Monday.
FIJI up to a career high of 8th after their historic first win over France.
Wales continue their rise after 9 consecutive wins. #rugby #rugbyunited #ENGvAUS #WALvRSA #SCOvARG #FRAvFIJ #rankings pic.twitter.com/qhhxSq6Leu
— Rugby4Cast (@Rugby4Cast) November 24, 2018
After nine attempts, Fiji recorded their first ever victory over France and John McKee's will approach the World Cup with renewed confidence. They will move into a historic high of eighth place.
FULL TIME | In the most epic match ever, Fiji has earnt an historical victory over France for the FIRST time in 10 outings. Final score FRA 14 - FIJ 21.
The defensive effort and the heart showing across this enormous match was simply sensational We are so proud of you pic.twitter.com/EihojkLnHK
— Fiji Rugby Union (@fijirugby) November 24, 2018
Can’t hold back my tears.da lads who played 2nite 4 Fiji 4 next to nothing against a team full of riches and win is something we as “tier 2 nation” can dream of.Yes Politics and other nonsense affect us but u put 23 passionate village kids together, we can conquer the world ✊🏾
— nemzy (@nemani_nadolo) November 24, 2018
Wales impressive win over South Africa was their ninth consecutive wins and it sets up a blockbuster Six Nations campaign next year as Warren Gatland eyes up a trophy he has not won since 2013.
As for Ireland, victory over Italy, Argentina and New Zealand saw Joe Schmidt's men move further above the 90 point mark and achieve their highest ever total. They rounded off their campaign with a 57-14 win over USA at the Aviva Stadium.
Ten months out from a World Cup, the global rugby landscape has evolved and little separates the top tier teams. The game looks set to be more competitive than ever.