Wales' slip in World Rugby ranking disappointing, says Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies, chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union
Gareth Davies played 21 Test matches for Wales

Wales' slide in World Rugby's rankings is a disappointment, says Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies.

Wales are down to seventh from fifth place after defeats by England and Scotland and could drop to ninth if they lose to Ireland and France.

That would mean a tough draw for the 2019 World Cup with the seedings based on rankings at the end of this season.

"It's not so much the World Cup. The disappointment would be if we finish ninth," said former captain Davies.

"I think Wales should be far higher up the world rankings than that and I think we've been aiming this year to establish ourselves as fourth in the world.

"So if we end up as seventh, eighth or ninth it falls short of where we wanted to be so that's the biggest disappointment, not so much the World Cup."

Wales were ranked outside the top eight for the 2015 tournament draw, when they ended up in the infamous "group of death" with England, Australia and Fiji.

The draw for the 2019 tournament in Japan is being made in May, with Rob Howley's team again facing the risk of a tough pool.

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

But Davies - a former British and Irish Lions Test fly-half - believes the team can bounce back to win their remaining Six Nations matches in Cardiff and Paris.

"They've got two games Ireland and France left to bring some redemption I suppose," he said.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones also said that players were not concerned about the world rankings as they prepare for the final two rounds of the tournament.

"With regard to world rankings we've got to have an eye on the games week-to-week rather than anything beyond that," he said.

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