Wales relinquish top spot as All Blacks return to number one

New Zealand are back on top of the World Rugby Men's Rankings following Wales' defeat to Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Wales' short reign at the top of the World Rugby Men's Rankings is over after their 11-match winning home run came to an end with Saturday's 22-17 defeat to Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

With one-and-a-half rating points deducted from their total because of the loss, Wales now find themselves down in fourth position in the rankings with New Zealand, Ireland and England the sides to profit.

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The All Blacks regain their position at the top of the rankings that they had held for an unbroken 509-week period prior to Wales' 13-6 victory over England back on 14 August, while Ireland, for whom Jacob Stockdale shone with a brace of first-half tries, move up to second with the gap between the two teams just a fraction over half a point.

England will go into their final Rugby Word Cup 2019 warm-up against Italy at St James' Park in Newcastle on Friday ranked third.

Scotland negotiated what appeared to be a difficult assignment away to Georgia, winning 44-10 at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. Rory Hutchinson scored two of the Scots' five tries on an historical night when they became the first tier one nation to play a test in Georgia. The victory improved Scotland's rating to 81.00 points and they remain in seventh.

In the Pasifika Challenge at Eden Park in Auckland, Fiji beat Tonga 29-19. The win moves them above Japan and into ninth place in the rankings. Tonga stay in 15th place.

Colombia and PNG win silverware

Away from Rugby World Cup 2019 preparations, it was a very good weekend for Colombian rugby. A 54-15 win for Los Tucanes against Paraguay not only saw them win the Americas Rugby Challenge for a second consecutive year but it also sent them up to their highest-ever position of 32nd in the rankings.

Despite the heavy defeat, Paraguay, who ended the contest down to 14 men following a red card, end the week five places better off in the rankings in 45th having beaten the Cayman Islands 57-7 in the second round of the competition on Tuesday.

Worse was to follow for the Cayman Islands in Saturday's final round as they succumbed to a 105-17 defeat to Mexico in what was a record test score for Los Serpientes.

Franco Guerrero had a fabulous match as he converted all 15 of Mexico’s tries as well as scoring a try. His 35-point haul was matched by winger Fharid Samano, who ran in seven tries – the most by an individual men's player in a test since José Maria Nuñez Piossek managed nine for Argentina against Paraguay in 2003.

Mexico fell just short, however, of leapfrogging the Ivory Coast in the rankings and remain in 44th place. The Cayman Islands drop seven places to 58th.

One match in Africa's Victoria Cup counted towards the rankings and it ended in a 35-26 win for Uganda over Zambia. With just over half a rating point awarded to the Rugby Cranes, they move above the Philippines and the Ivory Coast into 42nd.

The only other climbers on another busy weekend of international rugby were Papua New Guinea, who move above Serbia into 84th place after a gutsy 15-13 win over the Solomon Islands.

Having also beaten Nauru 89-5 and Niue Island 29-10, the Pukpuks claimed their fifth Oceania Rugby Cup title on home soil in Port Moresby. The other match in the competition did not count towards the rankings but saw Niue Island beat Nauru 89-0.