Wales are at their highest position in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings for just over a year after taking the Triple Crown with a 40-24 win over England in Cardiff on Saturday.
In an incident-packed game, Wales scored tries through Josh Adams, Liam Williams and Kieran Hardy, while Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy kicked two conversions apiece. Sheedy also kicked three penalties in the final quarter of the match as Wales pulled clear after England had fought back to tie the scores at 24-24.
Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs crossed for England who relied on the boot of captain Owen Farrell for the rest of their points.
Wales gained 1.86 rating points and move up to fifth in the rankings as a result of the win on the occasion of George North’s 100th cap for his country.
Defending Six Nations champions England have now lost two of their first three games in this year’s Championship and fall to fourth – their lowest position since mid-August 2019.
Despite an emphatic 48-10 win in Rome, Ireland have been leapfrogged by Wales and they drop a place to seventh.
Will Connors bagged a brace of tries and Garry Ringrose, Huge Keenan, CJ Stander and Keith Earls also crossed to ensure Ireland came away from the Stadio Olimpico with a much-needed victory after two defeats.
Italy lost two men to the sin-bin and gave away a string of penalties with their only try coming through Johan Meyer on the stroke of half-time.
The heavy defeat cost the Azzurri one place in the rankings. In being overtaken by Samoa, they equal their lowest-ever position of 15th, last occupied in February 2019.