Latest World Rankings announced

8th December 2017, 11:41


Latest World Rankings announced

Australia top the men's and women's rankings

Following the success of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, the new world rankings have been announced for the men’s game and, significantly, for the first time, the women.


Australia, after picking up the silverware in both tournaments, are at the head of the respective tables.


“One of our goals since 2016 has been to restore the Kangaroos to the position of number one in the world,” said Kangaroos head coach Mal Meninga, in the afterglow of retaining the World Cup. “We achieved that following the Four Nations Final last year and it has been enormously satisfying to stay there.


“We believe a strong international programme is essential and see our success, and the manner in which we fought for it, as a catalyst in continuing this push to prioritise Test match rugby league. The players have been central to this achievement and I know they are very proud and humble to maintain the status quo.”


Nine nations make up the inaugural Women’s rankings. Australia head coach Brad Donald commented: “Not only is this a great result for our team, who have worked extraordinarily hard to win the World Cup, the formalisation of a rankings process is also great recognition for women’s sport in general. The Jillaroos are an incredibly talented and committed group of players and this has added significantly to their wonderful achievements through the tournament.”


In the men’s rankings, Lebanon are the main movers, up nine places from eighteenth into the top ten, whilst Tonga go from eleventh to fourth. Papua New Guinea rise six places to tenth and there is a welcome move for Chile, who won the first South American Championship, as they go from 37th to 32nd in a year when more internationals have been played than ever before.


Tongan head coach Kristian Woolf noted: “The Mate Ma’a’s move is just reward for a very strong year including a great World Cup campaign. It is something we want to continue, with the opportunity to be involved in more International games in the future and the ability to compete against the top three nations.”


PNGRL chairman Sandis Tsaka added: “The performance of the Kumuls during the 2017 World Cup has helped PNG get back up the world rankings and we now have the challenge of continuing to rise by playing more full international games. The PNG supporters and players have shown that they love international rugby league.”


David Collier OBE, chief executive of the Rugby League International Federation, commented: “On behalf of the RLIF board I would like to congratulate Australia on retaining their position and the other major movers, in particular Lebanon, Fiji, PNG and Tonga who all lit up the World Cup.”


“The rankings are a statistically-weighted reflection of results over the past five years, with greater emphasis on recent displays. Scotland and Samoa have retained a top six place due to their recent performances against the tier one nations, and Ireland are improving on the field yet drop out of the top 10 because of the ranking of the opposition they faced.


“What we have seen is that the success of the World Cup has reinvigorated the international game, even more fixtures are being arranged across the tiers and that will have a reflection in future rankings as past results gradually degrade.”


The Test series scheduled for next autumn between England and New Zealand will, most likely, determine which nation will end 2018 as the second ranked side.


Full Rankings




 Women's World Rankings


  1. Australia Women
  2. New Zealand Women
  3. England Women
  4. Canada Women
  5. Cook Islands Women
  6. Papua New Guinea Women
  7. France Women
  8. Italy Women
  9. Lebanon Women




Men's World Rankings

        Nation.                          Previous

  1. Australia                     1
  2. New Zealand               2
  3. England                      3
  4. Tonga                         11
  5. Fiji                              7
  6. Samoa                        5
  7. Scotland                     4
  8. France                       6                
  9. Lebanon                    18             
  10. PNG                          16
  11. Ireland .                    8
  12. Wales                        9
  13. Italy                         12
  14. USA                          10
  15. Jamaica                    13
  16. Serbia                      14
  17. Canada                     15
  18. Malta                       17
  19. Russia                      19
  20. Belgium                    20
  21. Spain                       21
  22. Norway                    22
  23. Greece                     23
  24. Philippines                34
  25. Ukraine                    25
  26. Czech Republic         26
  27. Netherlands             27
  28. Germany                 28
  29. Hungary                  29
  30. Cook Islands            24
  31. Sweden                   30
  32. Chile                       37
  33. Niue                        31
  34. Denmark                 32
  35. South Africa            33
  36. Vanuatu                 35
  37. El Salvador             39
  38. Thailand                 36
  39. Argentina                -
  40. Colombia                 -
  41. Japan                      -
  42. Solomon Islands      38
  43. Brazil                      -
  44. Uruguay                  40
  45. Hong Kong              -
  46. Bulgaria                   41
  47. Latvia                      42
  48. Morocco                   43




Note to Editors


Men’s rankings headline movements


Tonga rise from 11th to 4th


Fiji rise from 7th to 5th


Lebanon rise from 18th to 9th


Papua New Guinea rise from 16th to 10th


Chile rise from 37th t 32nd


Australia increase margin of lead to 347 points


Rating points are awarded for all sanctioned internationals over the previous 5 years and are calculated by an independent company sports data experts. A higher weighting is given to the most recent internationals to calculate rating points and then the rating index.