The Dragons' new position is an improvement of two places on last year's seventh place finish thanks to an RBS Six Nations Grand Slam win and a successful tour of North America and Canada that stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.
This time last year Wales languished behind RBS Six Nations rivals England in third, France in fourth and Ireland in sixth, but an amazing 2005 has sent Mike Ruddock's men soaring up the international table. Wales can be proud that they are one of only two Northern Hemisphere sides to make the top five, pipped to fourth spot by France despite triumphing 24-18 in Paris in February.
New Zealand top the table ahead of their Tri-Nations rivals Australia in second, and South Africa in third. Scotland remain unchanged from last year's position in ninth spot, flanked once again on either side by Argentina in eighth and Fiji in tenth.
Wales will come face to face with the All Blacks on November 5th 2005 in a game that is guaranteed to provide fireworks. The bonfire night clash will pit two of the world's most exciting teams against one another a year after the All Blacks left the Millennium Stadium battered and bruised with a one-point victory.
The fast, flowing style of rugby that Wales have adopted under coach Mike Ruddock is similar to that of the All Blacks and has been widely praised by coach Graham Henry.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.