Gregor Townsend’s men defeated their hosts 29-23 at Twickenham – Scotland’s third win in a row over England – with tries from Duhan van der Merwe (2), Ben White and Huw Jones in their Six Nations opener to get the 2023 campaign off to a perfect start. And, as a result, they have moved up to fifth in the world from seventh, leapfrogging Steve Borthwick’s team and matching the Scots’ highest-ever placing in the standings, which was achieved back in 2018.
As a consequence of their win in London, Scotland gained 1.51 points and their overall rating is now 83.06. England have moved down to sixth on 82.15 points, with Australia dropping down to seventh on 81.80.
Ireland remain top of the World Rugby charts following their 34-10 win over Wales in Cardiff. Andy Farrell’s team increased their rating to 90.70 points, with second-placed France not picking up additional points for defeating Italy 29-24 in Rome on Sunday. Wales, who take on Scotland this weekend at BT Murrayfield, remain in ninth place.
The new rankings show that Scotland’s World Cup group later this year now contains three of the top five teams in the world, with South Africa – currently fourth in the world – joining the Scots and the Irish, as well as Tonga and Romania, in Pool B. It is by far and away the most competitive group of the tournament, which begins in September.
The top ten of the world rankings read as follows: 1 Ireland (90.70), 2 France 90.01, 3 New Zealand (88.98), 4 South Africa (88.97), 5 Scotland 83.06, 6 England 82.15, 7 Australia 81.80, 8 Argentina 80.72, 9 Wales 78.02, 10 Japan 77.39.
Meanwhile, Van der Merwe’s individual first try against England has been nominated for Try of the Round by the Guinness Six Nations committee. Fans will get the chance to vote on which try was the best of the opening weekend, with the Scotland winger up against Italy’s Ange Capuozzo, England’s Max Malins and Ireland’s James Lowe.