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.
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.
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 seven 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.”