By now you will be well aware the official World Rugby rankings are, well, a bit of an ongoing joke. So here at the Herald we decided to compile our own. These aren't based on odd mathematical equations but, rather, geared solely towards providing perspective on the eve of the World Cup.

1. All Blacks (Official Ranking - 2)

The All Blacks haka. Photo / Photosport
The All Blacks haka. Photo / Photosport

Retain top spot for two central reasons. The first is they won the past two World Cups, and in this arena, that experience in both the management and senior players counts for plenty.

The other is Japan's expected hot, hard and

Advertisement
Advertisement

2. South Africa (Official Ranking - 4)

3. England (Official Ranking - 3)

4. Ireland (Official Ranking - 1)

5. Wales (Official Ranking - 5)

Best of the rest:

6. Wallabies (Official Ranking - 6)

7. Argentina (Official Ranking - 11)

8. France (Official Ranking - 8)

9. Scotland (Official Ranking - 7)

10. Japan (Official Ranking - 10)

11. Fiji (Official Ranking - 9)