The World Champion Springboks will end the year as the top-ranked rugby nation. The Boks finished their end-of-year tour, with wins against Wales and Scotland and a loss to England over the weekend. Saturday’s results meant that for the first time since 2002, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, the big three from the Southern Hemisphere, all lost on the same day as the autumn internationals came to a close.

South Africa lost by a single point to the English, and it was the same fate for Australia against Wales, while New Zealand was well beaten by France. And for good measure, Argentina was beaten by Ireland on Sunday.

It all means that South Africa is still number one in World Rugby’s rankings, with New Zealand still second. England improved slightly, but remain third with Ireland fourth. France and Australia swap places, with France fifth and Australia dropping to sixth.

The highlights for South Africa will be the way they won the British and Irish Lions series with almost no rugby played due to the COVID-19 pandemic and beating New Zealand in the final match of the Rugby Championship.