Six Nations 2017: Scotland up to fifth in World Rugby rankings after Wales win

Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Huw Jones and Tommy Seymour celebrate a Scotland try against Wales
Scotland scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to beat Wales for the first time since 2007

Scotland's first win over Wales in 10 years has seen them rise to their highest-ever position of fifth in the World Rugby rankings.

Vern Cotter's side came from 13-6 down to beat the Welsh 29-13 in their Six Nations encounter at Murrayfield.

Victory means they move above Wales, who drop to seventh, South Africa and France in the rankings,external-link which were introduced in October 2003.

Scotland will target a first win at Twickenham since 1983 on 11 March.

World Rugby Rankings - 27/02/17
1. New Zealand 94.78 points6. South Africa 81.79
2. England 91.027. Wales 81.16
3. Australia 86.358. France 80.57
4. Ireland 84.189. Argentina 79.91
5. Scotland 82.1810. Fiji 76.46

Their home victories over Ireland and Wales allows them to aim for a first Triple Crown since 1990 when they face England, an indication of the progress made under head coach Vern Cotter.

"He has been great," Scotland's record cap holder and points-scorer Chris Paterson told BBC Scotland. "The players are playing for him and the team have a real identity in what they are trying to do.

"We have scored seven tries so far in the tournament and I think six of them have come from the outside channels, and other one was Tim Swinson's under the posts in Paris, which was created in the outside channels.

"So there is an identity in how they are trying to play which suits Scotland, and will suit the players moving ahead. Gregor Townsend [who replaces Cotter this summer] likes to play in a similar way. We are so fortunate to have excellent coaches preparing the players at the moment and in the years ahead."

Scotland coach Vern Cotter hugs full-back Stuart Hogg in celebration after the victory over Wales
Scotland's players have responded well to the style Vern Cotter has brought in

Scotland's rise to fifth, from eighth, in the rankings boosts their hopes of being among at least the second group of seeds when the draw is made later this year for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Finishing outside the top eight means a country will face two other leading nations in their World Cup pool.

Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby has announced their side's final home game against Italy on 18 March will be played in front of a full house of 67,144 for the first time in the Six Nations era. The previous best crowd for Italy's visit to Edinburgh was 62,188 in 2015.

"Reaching fifth in the world is excellent and selling out the stadium three times in a row shows there is a product on the field that people are proud to watch and be associated with," Paterson added.

"But there is a lot of hard work still to be done and there is a huge challenge ahead of the players in two weeks against England. The fallow week comes at a good time and there is a good vibe at the moment, but as all players know, that can easily disappear without concentration and focus on your performance.

"The lads deserve a day or two off but they will be right back into it and plotting what they can come up with to beat England."

Top Stories


Elsewhere on the BBC