The Springboks have risen to No 2 in the IRB world rankings, with France breaking into the top four.
The Boks’ 16-12 victory over Ireland on Saturday was enough to see them leapfrog the Wallabies, who lost heavily to France in Paris. The French replace England (who thrashed Fiji) at No 4 on the rankings and trail Australia by only 0.32 points.
On 3 December, the rankings will determine the seeding for the 12 directly qualified teams for the 2015 World Cup. The teams ranked one to four will be kept apart at the pool stage, which makes the battle for a top-four spot especially relevant.
As the rankings stand after the first weekend of a packed month of internationals, France would avoid New Zealand, South Africa and Australia until at least the quarter-finals. England’s fate is very much in their own hands, with Australia, South Africa and New Zealand coming up over consecutive weekends before the pool allocation draw in London.
In other ranking news, Argentina move up one place to seventh after their win over Wales, with Ireland slipping to eighth.
The All Blacks, who put 51 points past Scotland, remain No 1 by a comfortable margin.
IRB WORLD RANKINGS (TOP 10)
1 NEW ZEALAND 92.91
2 SOUTH AFRICA 85.50
3 AUSTRALIA 84.82
4 FRANCE 84.58
5 ENGLAND 83.09
6 WALES 80.60
7 ARGENTINA 80.29
8 IRELAND 79.04
9 SCOTLAND 77.97
10 SAMOA 77.14