Who’s the second best team in the world?

If you ask which team is the best in the world you will only get one answer however begrudgingly it’s given. However if you ask about second you’ll get different answers.

Over the last couple of months there have been 4 different teams at number 2 in World Rugby’s rankings. Depending on how results go this weekend we could see a 5th. There are two ways of looking at this, either the rankings are rubbish or international rugby is highly competitive. Personally I think it’s the latter as people were suggesting that 6-8 teams could win the tournament. Interestingly enough Argentina, who are in the semi finals, weren’t normally in that list.

After this weekend any of the four teams involved in the semi finals could be ranked second. Here are the scenarios and what it means for the World Rankings:

  • New Zealand & Argentina win (my prediction) then the rankings will be:
  1. New Zealand
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. South Africa
  • New Zealand & Australia win then the rankings will be:
  1. New Zealand
  2. Australia
  3. South Africa
  4. Argentina
  • South Africa & Argentina win then the rankings will be:
  1. South Africa
  2. New Zealand or Argentina depending on winning/losing margins
  3. Australia
  • South Africa & Australia win then the rankings are:
  1. Australia
  2. South Africa
  3. New Zealand
  4. Argentina

Clearly the games this weekend have the potential to shakeup the top of the table. Let’s be honest though, the players won’t be be concerned by this as getting to a Rugby World Cup final is more important. Even so it’s amazing that if New Zealand lose they will drop out of the top spot for the first time since 2009!

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