1. South Africa (Last Ranking: 1): They didn’t win in Tokyo but they made it as far as they could only to lose to Fiji in the final. It was their only loss of the tournament and their only close result was against the United States.


2. New Zealand (LR: 1): It says a lot about the quality of the All Blacks when their worst finish this year is fourth place. Admittedly it wasn’t their best tournament but they still have a great body of work.

3. Fiji (LR: 4): Fiji were deserved winners in Japan. They had some close matches but they were the most consistent. They now have two Series wins on the year. Consistency will be big the rest of the year.

4. England (LR: 4): England are getting solid results and are consistently improving. Their win over the All Blacks was their best win of the season.

5. Australia (LR: 5): There is a big difference between this Australia side and one from a year ago. They would be serious medal contenders if the Olympics were held this year.

6. Canada (LR: 6): The Canadians continue to stay steady in the rankings after another strong showing. They should have made the Cup semi-finals if it weren’t for a poor officiating decision.

7. Kenya (LR: 9): After a few sub-par rounds the Kenyans rebounded with a trip to the Cup quarterfinals. However, they faded pretty bad on day two.

8. Wales (LR: 12): The Bowl winners looked decent over the weekend but still have a ways to go to be a solid team.

9. United States (LR: 13): Finally! The Eagles made the Cup quarterfinals for the first time all year. They played really well and are hoping this is the start of the strong run.

10. Scotland (LR: 11): A typical tournament for the Scots. Not where they want to be but they’ll take the points.

11. Samoa (LR: 8): Another big fall for Samoa. Winning the Shield title is not what they want to be doing every week.

12. Argentina (LR: 7): There is no excuse for being runner-up in the Shield.

13. France (LR: 10): They will finish near the bottom of the table.

14. Portugal (LR: 14): Rough tournament for Portugal finishing without a win.

15. Spain (LR: 15): Spain have not made anything but a Shield semi-final or final appearance all year.

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