Wales take top spot on World Rugby Rankings for first time

Ross Houston
August 19, 2019

The event was created to show the England squad the level of the public's support of the team ahead of the World Cup in Japan starting next month, but also to showcase O2's commitment to growing rugby in the country, where it has introduced more than 30,000 people to touch rugby since 2013.

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs believes elements of England's game improved in their second meeting with Wales in as many weeks but says the national squad need to be better as they continue to build towards this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"However, I do not think people will remember these games when the World Cup begins". We have got to keep things in perspective.

"We want to keep going about our business we are looking to get better but it is nice to be where we are".

On the display against an England side who included Saints trio Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam and Piers Francis in their starting 15, Biggar said: "We probably got a little caught up with that last weekend, with the winning run and the world number one tag. It's just a number".

Eddie Jones, England Rugby Head Coach added: "It was great to see so many passionate fans turn out in such high numbers to see the team and it's a welcome reminder for the players to know who they represent when they step onto the pitch".

And Wales were also forced into a late switch after full-back Liam Williams suffered a hamstring issue during the warm-up, meaning that Halfpenny was handed a first Test match appearance since November.

'I said to the boys in the changing room, we showed massive character and big cojones'.

Dan Biggar thanked former Wales wing JJ Williams for firing him up ahead of his man-of-the-match showing against England on Saturday.

The Pumas fell 24-18 to the Springboks in a World Cup warm-up Test in Pretoria, seven days after suffering a 33-point drubbing at home in the Rugby Championship. "We found out about the mentality of our young players, we found out we have a really good cohesiveness in the squad because they fought hard for each other in difficult situations, and we'll leave here with a smile on our face".

England responded with flashes of pace on the outside from Anthony Watson and Daly but punishing defensive hits and breakdown excellence kept the Welsh line intact.

"I'll go up to Wigan and get some lessons on how to defend with 13 men".

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