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.
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia