Australia men and women top of world rankings following World Cup success

Drew Darbyshire
James Tedesco and Kezie Apps Australia PA

James Tedesco (left) and Kezie Apps (right) celebrate Australia's World Cup success

Australia are the number one ranked nation in the world in the men’s and women’s game after they won their respective World Cups.

The Kangaroos have returned to the top spot in the men’s international world rankings for the first time in three years.

Meanwhile, Samoa have climbed from seventh place to third. It is the highest position ever held by the Pacific nation after reaching the final of the World Cup.

Samoa fell short to Australia 30-10 in front of a 67,502 crowd at Old Trafford on November. Matt Parish’s side made history as they became the first-ever tier two nation to reach a World Cup final.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said: “This is great news. I feel that we thoroughly deserve to get our number one ranking back considering the increased challenges now with the rise of the Pacific nations.”

Jillaroos continue world domination

The Jillaroos have retained first place in the women’s rankings after winning a third consecutive final.

Australia’s women extended their unbeaten run since 2016 to 13 tests. They clinched a third consecutive World Cup final victory with an emphatic 54-4 win New Zealand at Old Trafford.

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald said: “We are ecstatic to still be in number one.

“Back in 2016 the group came together; and those players were the ones who said they wanted the team to be the best in the world; to put the focus on women’s rugby league; and help grow a domestic competition in Australia, which we did in 2018.

“As we see the emergence of the NRLW, the great depth of players; and the participation rates from under 6s to open age women it is a credit to all involved in growing the game.”

There is also a new number one nation in the wheelchair rankings. England have leapfrogged France after their win in the World Cup final.

IRL boss congratulates Australia men and women and England wheelchair

International Rugby League chair Troy Grant said: “On behalf of the IRL I would like to congratulate the Australian men’s and women’s teams and the England wheelchair team.

“All three teams proved they are the best in their discipline with unbeaten records at the recently completed World Cup in England; culminating in victory in their finals at Old Trafford and Manchester Central.

“In the case of England, they also overcame France – the previous number one ranked wheelchair team – in a mid-season test before again triumphing against the defending world champions in the World Cup final.

“For the Kangaroos and Jillaroos, the World Cup marked a welcome return to the international arena after a hiatus since 2019 due to COVID restrictions; and fans look forward to seeing the world champions in action in 2023.

“Congratulations to the other teams who have risen up the IRL world rankings; including Samoa, whose run to the men’s World Cup final sparked remarkable scenes around the world.”

To see the International Rugby League world rankings in full, click here.

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