England go above New Zealand into second in world rankings

England have gone above New Zealand into second in the RLIF’s world rankings. 

With England having won the autumn Test series 2-1 against the Kiwis, and beaten the same opponents in the mid-season Test in Denver, Wayne Bennett’s side gone into second place, and closed the gap on Australia.

It is likely that when the Kangaroos tour England in 2020, the top position will be up for grabs.

England’s director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “This is a good way to round off what has been a successful year for all our teams in the England Performance Unit.

“We saw a good number of new faces come through into the senior England squad, some of them from the Knights programme who themselves had a successful trip to Papua New Guinea.

“It’s pleasing to see the investment we’ve made, in combination with Sport England, paying dividends and due credit for what has been an excellent team effort on and off the field.”

France has moved back to sixth after claiming the European Championship title, which also acted as a 2021 World Cup qualifier, while Jamaica have also moved up the rankings after making the 2021 tournament following their triumph in the Americas Championship.

The success of the Emerging Nations’ World Championship in October has seen two new entries with Poland and Turkey ranked for the first time.

Poland head coach Lee Addison commented: “To get a ranking is a huge milestone for us as a rugby league nation, and a great shot in the arm for all of us involved.

“We dedicate it to Łukasz Łucka who is the tireless, driving force behind the game here.

“It’s important that we now build on this momentum, and incumbent on all of us to make sure we do everything in our power to continue to grow the domestic game in Poland, but we are on the map and that should help drive us forward.”

In all, 65 fully sanctioned international matches were played in the calendar year which represents a record.

There were no changes to the women’s rankings.

RLIF men’s world rankings:

1 (1) Australia – 100%

2 (3) England – 92%

3 (2) New Zealand – 89%

4 (4) Tonga – 45%

5 (5) Fiji – 29%

6 (8) France – 26%

7 (6) Samoa – 24%

8 (7) Scotland – 20%

9 (9) Lebanon – 19%

10 (10) Papua New Guinea – 16%

11 (12) Wales – 11%

12 (11) Ireland – 11%

13 (13) Italy – 8%

14 (15) Jamaica – 6%

15 (14) USA – 6 %

16 (18) Malta – 6%

17 (17) Serbia – 6%

18 (21) Hungary – 6%

19 (26) Greece – 5%

20 (19) Norway – 5%

21 (16) Canada – 4%

22 (27) Philippines – 4%

23 (UR) Poland – 3%

24 (34) Niue – 3%

25 (24) Czech Republic – 3%

26 (28) Netherlands – 3%

27 (42) Solomon Island – 3%

28 (22) Spain – 2%

29 (20) Russia – 2%

30 (30) Germany – 2%

31 (UR) Turkey – 2%

32 (33) Chile – 2%

33 (36) Vanuatu – 2%

34 (41) Japan – 2%

35 (25) Ukraine – 2%

36 (37) El Salvador – 2%

37 (32) Chile – 2%

38 (29) Sweden – 1%

39 (23) Belgium – 1%

40 (45) Hong Kong – 1%

41 (40) Colombia – 1%

42 (39) Argentina – 1%

43 (31) Cook Islands – 1%

44 (35) Denmark – 1%

45 (43) Brazil – 1%

46 (44) Uruguay – 0%

47 (46) Bulgaria – 0%

48 (47) Latvia – 0%

RLIF women’s Rankings:

1 (1) Australia

2 (2) England

3 (3) New Zealand

4 (4) Tonga

5 (5) Fiji

6 (6) France

7 (7) Samoa

8 (8) Scotland

9 (9) Lebanon