Les Bleus were named Six Nations champions for the first time since 2010 on Saturday night, after a relatively easy victory over England in Paris.
As a result of their victory, France has risen to their joint-highest ever position of second, having last been ranked second in 2007, while New Zealand has dropped to their joint-lowest ever standing of third.
Near the top of the table, France, New Zealand, and Ireland are separated by less than one ranking point, while South Africa still has a little breathing room in first place, since they are about two points ahead of the French.
It is New Zealand’s third time to third place in the World Rugby rankings since their World Cup semi-final loss to England in 2019.
Ireland’s runner-up Six Nations finish, which they completed with a 26-5 win over Scotland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin over the weekend, also puts Andy Farrell’s side in fourth place, just 0.53 points behind the Kiwis.
That adds another element to what is already shaping up to be a thrilling three-test series when the Irish visit New Zealand to face the All Blacks in July.
Antoine Dupont, France’s captain, was selected Player of the Match in their Grand Slam final versus England on Saturday. Dupont has undoubtedly been one of the top players in World Rugby over the last two years. His list of honours is lengthy.
Last season, he was instrumental in Toulouse winning both the Top14 and the Champions Cup. He won World Rugby Player of the Year in 2021 and can now add Grand Slam captain to his rugby resume.
As a result, Dupont, along with fellow Frenchman Gregory Aldritt and Irish back row Josh van der Flier, has been nominated for player of the tournament in 2022.
The All Blacks, who were ranked second until this week, haven’t played a test match since last November, and the Southern Hemisphere club season has just begun.
The All Blacks finished their 2021 season with unprecedented back-to-back losses against Ireland at Aviva Stadium and France the following week in Paris.
France has already surpassed the All Blacks in the World Rugby rankings, and the two teams will meet in the opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Fabien Galthie and France are now closing in on World Cup Champions South Africa who remain at the top of the World Rugby Rankings.