Liam Williams Wales top of the world following victory over England in Cardiff

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Liam Williams Wales' Alun Wyn Jones and team mates applaud fans at the end of the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones and team mates applaud fans at the end of the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Wales went top of rugby union’s world rankings for the first time after beating England 13-6 in Cardiff.

Wales’ rise to the summit, which ended New Zealand’s unbroken 10-year occupation, comes just 34 days before the World Cup kicks off in Japan.

It was an impressive warm-up performance for the tournament as they reeled off an 11th successive home win.

Wing George North’s 34th-minute try sent Wales on their way to avenging a 33-19 defeat at Twickenham last weekend, while Dan Biggar converted and kicked a penalty to leave England 10 points adrift at half-time.

But there was an injury scare for Wales when Biggar took two blows to his left shoulder – he eventually went off five minutes from time – only six days after his fellow number 10 Gareth Anscombe suffered a World Cup-ending knee injury.

England were slicker and more cohesive after the break, but Wales restricted them to a couple of George Ford penalties before a late Leigh Halfpenny strike sealed victory.

Centre Piers Francis and prop Dan Cole delivered strong performances for England in their first game since head coach Eddie Jones announced his 31-man World Cup s

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