France, the world’s leading nation in rugby and a safe bet in other team sports

According to the ranking established by World Rugby, France becomes the first team in the world at the start of the week. Fabien Galthié’s men, undefeated this season with ten straight wins, will now overtake South Africa, previous world number one, beaten by Wales on the wire this weekend (13-12).

“For the first time in its history, the XV of France reached first place in the world rankings”, tweeted the president of the French Rugby Federation, Bernard Laporte, on Saturday.

If the world champion Springboks had won, they would have remained at the top of the world rankings. Their defeat, combined with the second victory of the Blues in Japan and a setback for the All Blacks against Ireland (23-12), allows the French to get ahead of them.

World champion footballers but… 4are FIFA ranking

Before the XV of France, only the men’s football team had managed, in 2001, to win the world’s first place in its discipline. Without being at the top of the table, the rest of the national team sports teams still have a good track record.

At the 2021 Olympics, France was ranked second in the team sports rankings, behind the United States, with six medals, including three gold. The men’s volleyball team had notably won its first Olympic title against Russia. Today the training led by Andrea Giani is ranked fourth in the world. His female counterpart, on the other hand, is in more trouble, clocking in at 24e global place.

As for the French basketball players, the men’s team, Olympic vice-champion last year, climbed to fourth place, far behind the untouchable Americans, also ahead of the Spaniards and the Australians. The girls, Olympic bronze medalists and reigning five-time European vice-champion, are sixth in a ranking again dominated by Americans and Spaniards.

In football, France may be the reigning world champion, but it only points to fourth place in the ranking established by the International Federation (FIFA), behind Brazil, Belgium and Argentina. The girls, who are currently competing in the Euro, are doing a little better. They are third, overtaken by the United States and Sweden.

In handball, the men’s and women’s teams both won a gold medal at the last Tokyo Olympics. The boys are third at European level, behind Germany and Spain. The girls do better: second, only ahead of the Hungarians.


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