Scotland have hit an all-time high after the Calcutta Cup win

Scotland are fifth in the world, an all-time high, after jumping up the rankings following the 29-23 win over England at Twickenham in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations.

Gregor Townsend’s side are only behind Ireland, France, New Zealand and South Africa in the standings following an impressive Calcutta Cup triumph away from home.

Read more: Scotland Six Nations squad

For the first time since 1972, Scotland have won the Calcutta Cup for a third time in a row and have now held the coveted trophy in five of the last six years.

Duhan van der Merwe’s stunning solo try inspired Scotland to a thrilling victory in their first hit out in 2023.

The South African-born Scot ran 55 metres and beat five England defenders to register one of the best tries ever scored at Twickenham.

But it was van der Merwe‘s second effort that wrapped up victory late on for the visitors, who had at one stage trailed 20-12.

The bonus-point victory gave Scotland 1.51 points in the world rankings and boosted their overall rating to 83.06.

That saw Jamie Ritchie’s men leapfrog Australia and the Auld Enemy England in the rankings to surge into the top half for the first time since the 2018 Six Nations, equalling their highest ever position.

Scotland’s surge up the rankings has come too late to impact their Rugby World Cup pool. Townsend’s team are in what many are describing as the pool of death with three of the world’s top five sides all in the same pool.

Scotland are joined by South Africa and Ireland in France later this year. However, if the draw had been held now – rather than in 2020 – for the tournament, then things could have looked very different.

There was no change below the top ten as all of the four best-ranked Rugby Europe Championship sides came away with victory.

Spain held off a spirited challenge from the Netherlands while Georgia romped to victory over Germany, before one of their players got down on one knee after the game!

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.