Liam Williams How Wales became world’s top ranked side

Liam Williams How Wales became world’s top ranked side

Liam Williams This is another interesting plug-in.

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Warren Gatland on Wales being world number one

It has been the cause of a degree of controversy but Wales have at last reached number one in World Rugby’s rankings.

It might have confused a few, including New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, and could prove a fleeting accolade with Ireland possibly toppling Wales with a victory over England this weekend.

It has been a rapid rise from February 2018 when Wales lost against Ireland in Dublin and dropped to seventh in the world rankings.

Eighteen months, a Grand Slam and 15 wins in 16 matches later, Wales are top of the pile with world champions All Blacks knocked off their perch for the first time in almost a decade.

BBC Sport Wales examines how Warren Gatland’s side turned things around.

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Six Nations success

Wales started the 2018 Six Nations with an emphatic victory against Scotland before away defeats against Ireland and England.

With no silverware to play for, Gatland made a bold call by making 10 changes for the visit of Italy, including a debut for flanker James Davies.

The option paid off with the much-changed side running in five tries in the 38-14 win, including two for George North.

Gatland made a further seven changes for France’s arrival, knowing success would seal second place behind Grand Slam winners Ireland.

A Liam Williams try and three Leigh Halfpenny penalties gave Wales a 14-13 victory. The hosts dogged defence held firm for victory in a game that was far from a classic.

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Ross Moriarty reaction to beating England and being ranked world number 1

Successful summer

Most of Wales’ 2017 British and Irish Lions were given a summer off for a Test South Africa and two-test trip to Argentina.

North and Ross Moriarty were the only original 2017 Lions selections included in Wales’ 31-man party.

Cory Hill and Ellis Jenkins were co-captains,

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