1. New Zealand (Last Ranking: 2): It only took the All Blacks one week to return to the top spot in our rankings. The Hong Kong champions were marvelous, pulling out blowout wins as well as tight wins. Heading into the last two legs they hold a 13 point lead at the top.

England (LR: 4): The English have been consistent and good since a hiccup in South Africa. The last four tournaments have seen them improve from Plate champions, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd.

3. Fiji (LR: 3): A Cup semi-final appearance is another good finish. This year Fiji and England have established themselves as the third and fourth best teams on the Series.

4. South Africa (LR: 1): It was a terrible tournament by Blitzbokke standards, which of course means they won the Plate. Expect a rebound from them in the UK.

5. Australia (LR: 5): Another well played tournament with another trip to the Cup semi-finals. Their youth movement from the last couple of seasons is paying off. The next step is a tournament win.

6. Canada (LR: 6): Yet another tournament with a strong run. They have made the Cup quarterfinals in four straight tournaments and are looking stronger each time out. John Moonlight is becoming a star.

7. Wales (LR: 8): The slow rise of Wales continues with a Plate runner-up finish. It was their best tournament in a while but was a return to their early season form.

8. United States (LR: 9): A second straight trip to the Cup quarterfinals for the Americans. Zack Test is having a fine run of form but can they sustain it?

9. Scotland (LR: 10): The Scots were unlucky not to make the Cup but did very well to win the Bowl. They still need to make the Cup more than once this season.

10. France (LR: 13): France can be an up and down side and they were up this week to make the Bowl final. However, they could have done better in the final.

11. Argentina (LR: 12): A so-so tournament for Argentina. It’s been a steady decline for the team after a great middle of the season.

12. Kenya (LR: 7): Winning the Shield is definitely not where Kenya want to be. They have now fallen down the rankings in their worst performance of the season.

13. Samoa (LR: 11): This is definitely not the Samoa team we are accustomed to seeing. They did not play well in Hong Kong or Tokyo.

14. Portugal (LR: 14): At least they made the Shield final and won’t be relegated.

15. Spain (LR: 15): It’s all but over for Spain with yet another one point tournament. They need a miracle to avoid relegation.

Curtis Reed is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com