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Biggest movers

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 19:19
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We take a look at which was the most improved team of the year.

As we approach the end of 2012, we take a look at which was the most improved team of the year.

We all know that New Zealand remained ranked, constantly, at No.1 ... despite their year-end hiccup against England.

However, the most improved team on the IRBV's 2012 rankings was Samoa - who moved from 11th place in the January rankings, to seven in December. This included that fabulous triumph over Wales in Cardiff in November.

South Africa (from fourth to second) and Italy (12th to 10th) were next best when it came to big movers.

The biggest losers were Tonga, who - despite their great win over Scotland last month - dropped from ninth to 11th. Ironically Scotland, who lost eight of their 11 matches this year (including the defeat at the hands of Tonga) dropped from 10th to 12th.

We bring you the big movers for 2012!

Top 20 rankings - January (opening rankings for 2012):
1 New Zealand 91.43
2 Australia 87.99
3 France 84.70
4 South Africa 84.34
5 England 81.58
6 Ireland 80.65
7 Argentina 80.28
8 Wales 79.61
9 Tonga 76.63
10 Scotland 76.20
11 Samoa 75.81
12 Italy 73.99
13 Canada 72.92
14 Georgia 71.09
15 Japan 70.45
16 Fiji 68.78
17 United States 65.63
18 Romania 63.98
19 Namibia 61.24
20 Russia 60.54

Top 20 rankings - December (final standings for 2012):
1 New Zealand 90.08
2 South Africa 86.94
3 Australia 86.87
4 France 85.07
5 England 83.90
6 Ireland 80.22
7 Samoa 78.71
8 Argentina 78.71
9 Wales 78.39
10 Italy 76.24
11 Tonga 76.10
12 Scotland 75.83
13 Fiji 71.52
14 Canada 71.41
15 Japan 70.09
16 United States 68.32
17 Georgia 65.83
18 Spain 63.09
19 Romania 62.12
20 Russia 61.49