New Zealand fittingly remain the number one side in the World Rugby Women's Rankings following their 41-32 defeat of England in the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 final on Saturday.

Whoever was crowned world champions at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast would hold top spot and New Zealand's fifth title means their cushion over England has increased from a little more than a rating point to 3.59 points.

The win was worth 2.14 points to the Black Ferns, while any gains the Red Roses had made with their semi-final defeat of France four days earlier was wiped out by the loss to New Zealand.

England lost just under fourth tenths across the last seven days, but it would have been worse had Izzy Noel-Smith's consolation try not brought the margin to below 15 points in the final.


Bronze medallists France remain third despite losing just over one rating point across the week, limiting the damage of the 20-3 loss to England in the semi-finals by beating USA 31-23 in the bronze final on Saturday.

Canada, though, have cut the deficit between the two nations to only 0.34 points after powering past Australia 43-12 in the fifth place play-off.

The biggest fallers over the last seven days are WRWC 2017 hosts Ireland after two defeats by lower ranked teams in Australia and Wales.

Ireland, who with the losses missed out on a top seven finish and with it direct qualification for Women's Rugby World Cup 2021, drop three places to ninth and their lowest position since the women's rankings were introduced in February 2016.

The two defeats have cost Ireland, as the home team, some 6.61 rating points and it would have been worse had they not scored late consolation tries in both the 36-24 loss to Australia and 27-17 defeat by Wales to avoid a losing margin of more than 15 points.

Australia, Wales and Italy all rise a place as a consequence of Ireland's fall and wins for the latter two.

Italy needed an extra-time try by captain Sara Barattin to beat Spain 20-15 in the ninth place play-off, a result which in tandem with their 31-7 win over Japan in the previous round has lifted the Azzurre to eighth and seen them swap places with the side they beat. Tenth is the lowest Spain have ever been in the rankings.

The final changes to the rankings come as a result of Italy's win over Japan, the Sakura 15 falling two places to 16th as a result. Japan did finish with a first World Cup victory for 15 years over Hong Kong, but with more than 10 rating points separating the Asian rivals the 44-5 win had no impact.