France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili kicked his country to fourth in the International Rugby Board world rankings at the expense of England, who lost 18-17 to Les Bleus at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations on Sunday.
Andy Robinson's men drop to sixth as Ireland also climbed above them by beating Scotland 40-13 at Murrayfield.
The Scots are 10th, just below Fiji in the official standings, while Wales and Italy are unmoved in seventh and 11th respectively.
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.