Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks top of the world rankings after Ireland beats Wales

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Warren Gatland has watched his Wales team lose their number one world ranking in a 22-17 defeat to Ireland in Cardiff.

Adam Davy

Warren Gatland has watched his Wales team lose their number one world ranking in a 22-17 defeat to Ireland in Cardiff.

The All Blacks are back on top of World Rugby’s rankings after previous leaders Wales’ 22-17 home loss to Ireland.

Wales dropped to fourth place behind New Zealand, Ireland and England after Saturday’s (Sunday NZ time) defeat in Cardiff.

If the All Blacks beat Tonga by 15 points or more in their final warm-up game next weekend they will go to the Rugby World Cup as the number one ranked team in the world.

The world rankings came under fire last week when World Rugby vice-president Agustin Pichot slammed the system as “ridiculous”.

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That prompted Wales coach Warren Gatland – who fielded an under-strength team against Ireland – to joke that Wales were happy to give up their No1 ranking.

Ireland's Jacob Stockdale celebrates one of his two tries in a win over Wales.

Adam Davy

Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale celebrates one of his two tries in a win over Wales.

Joe Schmidt’s Irish were in desperation mode after enduring a 57-15 thrashing from England last weekend at Twickenham and responded by pulling ahead 22-3 in Cardiff thanks to a penalty try off their dominant scrum nearly an hour in.

Wales then began its own comeback, after prop Leon Brown

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