Italy players celebrate UEFA Euro championship after their 3-2 shootout win against England at Wembley Stadium in England: UFEA

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England slump to eighth in rankings after World Cup exit

International Sports

England exits from RWC England exits from RWC England’s early exit from the Rugby World Cup has dropped the tournament hosts down to eighth in the world rankings, equalling their lowest-ever position.

New Zealand remain first, Australia move to second, Wales are down to third and South Africa’s win over Scotland sees them in at fourth - Ireland are fifth after winning all three of their World Cup games.

Stuart Lancaster’s England team became the first previous winners to go out in the pool stage after a 33-13 defeat by Australia at Twickenham on Saturday left them unable to reach the knockout stage.

Back-to-back losses against Wales and the Wallabies means England’s final Pool A game against Uruguay on Saturday could be Lancaster’s last game in charge with his future hanging in the balance.

England went into the tournament as second favourites but drawn in the toughest of the four groups, dubbed by Wales coach Warren Gatland as the “group of hell” because it included three of the top-ranked sides in the world.

When the draw was made in 2012, Wales had gone winless in their November 2012 tests and had dropped to ninth, Australia were third and England fifth.

By the time the tournament kicked off on September 18th, Australia were at two, England four and Wales five.

England were last ranked as low as eighth in March 2009 when, under World Cup winning-captain Martin Johnson’s tenure, they lost five tests in four months.

Last week Tonga rugby chief Epi Taione launched an astonishing attack on World Rugby, saying that “Rugby is so out of touch. It’s run by colonialists who still think they run the world like it was 100 years ago.”

He told the New Zealand Herald that the World rankings were “worked out in a gypsy caravan park in Ireland somewhere”.

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