26 Oct 2011

All Blacks top rankings as Red Dragons slip

6:20 am on 26 October 2011

The All Blacks have remained at the top of rugby's world rankings but unlucky Wales have slipped from sixth to eighth place despite finishing fourth in the World Cup won by New Zealand on Sunday.

The Welsh suffered an agonising 9-8 semi-final loss to France after playing more than three-quarters of the match with 14 men after captain Sam Warburton's red card.

Warren Gatland's team then lost the third place playoff to Australia 21-18.

Despite their impressive performances throughout the tournament, Wales, who began the tournament in sixth place, have dropped below Ireland and Argentina in the rankings which are issued each week by the International Rugby Board.

The All Blacks, who beat France 8-7 to become world champions for the first time for 24 years, top the rankings ahead of Australia, France, South Africa and England, who remain in fifth place despite an unimpressive World Cup campaign in which they exited in the quarter-finals.