The Springboks have moved up one spot to No 4 in World Rugby’s official rankings.
England’s 25-20 loss to France in Paris at the weekend has seen them fall to fifth, with South Africa moving past them.
With one match to go before the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, England are in danger of going into the tournament ranked lower than Pool A rivals Australia and Wales.
Stuart Lancaster’s men are now just 1.3 points ahead of sixth-placed Wales, who travel to Dublin to play Ireland on Saturday. England conclude their RWC 2015 warm-up campaign against the Irish the following weekend.
England lost 1.29 ratings points at the weekend to drop to 84.24 points, with South Africa 85.15. France remain in seventh, although Les Bleus have now closed to just over two rating points behind Wales.
It may not have been the prettiest of wins but Scotland’s 16-12 victory over Italy in Turin was enough to see them return to the world’s top 10 ranked nations. Scotland move from 12th to 10th, climbing above Tonga and Samoa, after gain a full rating point.
Japan climb up one place to 14th at the expense of Italy even though their 30-8 win against Uruguay did not come with any boost to their rating.
The Brave Blossoms remain on 71.15 points while Italy, on 70.84 points, are marginally better off in the rankings than the USA (70.36), who made it three wins in a row against neighbours Canada with a 41-23 victory in Ottawa. Canada’s fifth straight loss cost them 1.27 ratings points but they remain 18th, two places behind the Eagles.
The Oceania Rugby Cup 2015 began this past weekend with wins for hosts Papua New Guinea and American Samoa. Neither side were able to improve their ranking, however, with the Puks Puks staying put in 95th, while American Samoa continue to prop up the rankings in 102nd despite a gain of 1.51 rating points for their 30-15 victory over the higher-ranked Solomon Islands. PNG defeated Tahiti 32-10.
World Rugby rankings (Top 15):
1. New Zealand 92.89
2. Ireland 86.89
3. Australia 86.67
4. South Africa 85.15
5. England 84.24
6. Wales 82.94
7. France 80.90
8. Argentina 78.39
9. Fiji 77.04
10. Scotland 75.79
11. Tonga 75.25
12. Samoa 75.14
13. Georgia 72.16
14. Japan 71.15
15. Italy 70.84