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The All Blacks have dropped to their joint-lowest ever position of third in the World Rugby Rankings.

Remarkably, New Zealand have never dropped out of the top three in the rankings, which is a testament to how consistent they have been since they were introduced in 2003.

However, Steve Hansen’s side were well-beaten by England in the Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday and can have no complaints in losing their place on top.

England moved into first place as a result, while South Africa moved up two places into second after their win over Wales in the other semi-final.

It’s the first time that England have assumed the top spot in 15 years, although Eddie Jones and his team certainly won’t take much heed of it ahead of the final against South Africa.

They are also the fourth side to be ranked No. 1 at some stage during this year, with New Zealand, Wales and Ireland having recently assumed the position.

That makes 2019 the year with the most sides ranked first at some stage, with no more than two sides sitting on top of the rankings in any other year.

It comes after almost a decade of New Zealand dominance, with the All Blacks having been top since late 2009 before they were knocked off their perch a couple of months ago by Wales.

Things could go from bad to worse for the All Blacks

Things could get even worse for the three-time world champions as they could fall to fourth place in the rankings, should Wales beat them in the bronze final.

Should Warren Gatland’s side win on Friday, it would be the first time that the Welsh have tasted victory over the All Blacks since 1953.

If New Zealand win the encounter they will rise to second place, with either England or South Africa on top, depending on who wins the final.

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All Blacks England Rugby World Rankings

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