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“Can World Rugby’s rankings be taken seriously if the Wallabies are rated the third-best team in the rugby universe?”
New Zealand journalist Tony Smith has branded World Rugby’s ranking system a ‘joke’ after Australia climbed to 3rd in the world following their recent win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
Australia’s win saw them move up one place, pushing Ireland and South Africa down to 4th and 5th respectively. Writing for Stuff, Smith says it’s hardly fair to allow Australia to climb above Ireland who haven’t played a competitive fixture since March.
“It’s hardly fair to allow Australia to leapfrog Ireland, who haven’t played at full-strength since the end of the Six Nations tournament in March.
By the same token, how can Australia be ranked two places higher than South Africa after drawing twice with the Springboks in the Rugby Championship?
The Wallabies only finished ahead of the Boks on the Sanzaar series points table because they piled on more points against an abject Argentina team, who have slipped to 10th in the world rankings after making the World Cup semifinals two years ago.
World Rugby’s latest rankings raise more questions than they answer. Primarily, why do they bother updating them so often?
An annual ranking – after the November northern hemisphere internationals window – would be a better barometer.
It would be devilishly difficult to rank four of the Six Nations sides in 2017 with England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland sending under-strength teams on southern hemisphere tours in June while the British and Irish Lions were battling the All Blacks.
Seeing the Wallabies sitting in third place on the World Rugby totem confirms international rugby union is at a low ebb.”
What do you think? Does he have a point?