The final of La Vila International Rugby Cup in Villajoyosa on Saturday means there will be no further change in the top 20 of the world rankings for 2023.
USA won the trophy after overcoming Spain 42-12 in a result that lifts the 2031 men’s Rugby World Cup hosts up to 17th place in the standings, above Uruguay. Canada also climbed as they finished third in the Cup thanks to a 40-15 win over Brazil, which sees them end their recent losing run under Kingsley Jones. They just miss out on the top 20, however, as Uruguay (18th), Romania (19th) and Spain (20th) finish the year above them, with Namibia sitting in 22nd spot.
At the top of the World Rugby rankings until at least the new year will, of course, sit South Africa following their recent Rugby World Cup triumph on French soil. The Springboks boast 94.54 points, while Ireland are next best in second with 90.57, having moved above New Zealand after the All Blacks’ loss in the final. Beaten quarter-finalists, France, are fourth with surprise World Cup package England sitting fifth, while Scotland are sixth despite exiting in the pool stages.
Argentina’s journey to fourth place at the tournament sees them end 2023 in seventh on 80.68, just above Wales (80.64) who they edged in the last-eight. Australia’s disastrous Rugby World Cup that led to Eddie Jones resigning as head coach puts them in ninth, with Fiji rounding out the top 10 for the year. Six Nations outfit Italy are less than a ranking point off the top 10, while Japan, Portugal, Georgia and Samoa follow before USA, Uruguay, Romania and Spain.