BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Scotland have fallen to a miserable 12th in the world – their worst-ever placing – in the latest official rankings produced by World Rugby.
Vern Cotter’s side dropped one place from 11th, despite not playing at the weekend, thanks to Tonga’s victory over Scotland’s World Cup opponents, Japan, in the third-place play-off in the Pacific Nations Cup, which moved them up into 10th spot.
Tonga pushed Samoa, another of Scotland’s opponents at the World Cup, into 11th and the Scots one place lower.
It is the poorest ranking the Scots have had since the system was introduced in 2003, with the team plummeting as low previously in 2012 and 2013.
Cotter’s outfit will have the chance to improve their status when they begin their warm-up games for next month’s global get-together in England with a ‘friendly’ against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
However, they will be facing a side that has earned a new high of second spot in the world following Saturday’s 35-21 win over Wales, deposing South Africa – the favourites in Scotland’s Pool B at the World Cup – who dropped three places to fifth because of their shock 37-25 loss to Argentina.