New Zealand's top position in ranking in line ahead of Bledisloe Cup opener

New Zealand went on to win the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship in 2018
New Zealand went on to win the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship in 2018
©Steve Haag

New Zealand are in danger of losing their number one spot in World Rugby Rankings for the first time in a decade if they suffer a defeat to Australia in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Perth this weekend.

The All Blacks have held the pole position since 16th November 2009 when they displaced South Africa at the top and overall have been topping the rankings for 13 years since the system was introduced just before the 2003 World Cup.

Steve Hansen's men have a 1.58 rating points lead over second placed Wales, who went on to win the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year and a defeat to the Wallabies will see New Zealand lose 1.66 rating points.

However, the slip to the second place could be shortlived if Wales go on to lose their games against England leading to the World Cup.

Earlier, following the win over Argentina, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen downplayed their dominance in rankings.

"World ranking is an outcome of what you do so it has nothing to do with the World Cup because you don't win the World Cup if you're the number one team," said Hansen.

New Zealand are positioned second in the ongoing Rugby Championship after a win and a draw against Argentina and South Africa respectively in the first two games.

World Rugby Top 10 Rankings:

Rank Team Rating Points
1 New Zealand 91.54
2 Wales 89.96
3 Ireland 88.69
4 South Africa 86.30
5 England 86.27
6 Australia 81.91
7 Scotland 80.17
8 France 79.42
9 Fiji 76.98
10 Argentina 76.81