27 Nov 2018

Sport: Flying Fijians climb to 8th in world rankings

12:30 pm on 27 November 2018

Fiji have risen to a career high of eighth in the men's World Rugby Rankings after beating France in Paris at the weekend.

The 21-14 triumph at Stade de France was the Flying Fijians' first ever victory against Les Bleus in ten attempts.

Fiji began the week in 10th place but have now leapfrogged the French as well as 2015 World Cup semi finalists Argentina, who were beaten 14-9 in Scotland.

Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa takes the ball into contact.

Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa takes the ball into contact. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Flying Fijians are in the same Rugby World Cup pool as Australia, Uruguay, Georgia and Wales next year and coach John McKee said the Pacific Nations Cup holders would arrive in Japan well prepared.

"We'll kick off in July with a home and away series with New Zealand Māori (Māori All Blacks) so that's a great way for us to start our preparation," he said.

"Then into the Pacific Nations Cup over three rounds played in Japan and Fiji and we will finish off with test matches against Samoa and Tonga before departing for Japan for our Rugby World Cup campaign.

"So seven test matches over ten weeks - it's a very good match programme but also those ten weeks we will be working very very hard in conditioning and

getting our players technically and tactically ready for the tournament."

Josua Tuisova (R) scored Fiji's second try.

Josua Tuisova (R) scored Fiji's second try. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand continue to lead the men's global rankings from Ireland despite their recent defeat in Dublin.

Tonga have dropped two places to 14th in the world after losing to Georgia 20-9 in Tbilisi while Samoa stay 16th after beating Spain 28-10 in Madrid.

Fijiana surge six spots

The Fijiana 15s have surged six places to 24th in the women's world rankings but still trail Pacific rivals Samoa by some distance.

Fiji's unbeaten run in the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship, including victories over Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Samoa, moved then ahead of China, Denmark, Jamaica, Guyana, Romania and Norway in the latest rankings.

The Manu Sina, who were beaten 43-12 by the Fijiana at the weekend, remain the highest ranked Pacific Island women's nation at 13th in the world, down one place, despite not playing any test matches between 2014 and November this year.

The Fijiana 15s celebrate winning the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship.

The Fijiana 15s celebrate winning the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship. Photo: Oceania Rugby

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