England, unsurprisingly, remain third in the latest Rugby League International Federation rankings, released this week.
Wales are in sixth, while Scotland, who enjoyed a fine World Cup last year, reaching the quarter finals by beating Tonga and Italy, find themsleves in 11th, one behind Ireland, who were eliminated in the first round.
Serbia, who sent two players to train with Warrington recently, are in 17th place, one behind Canada. Jamaica, where the domestic game has been growing steadily, are in 24th, behind the likes of Germany, Norway and Belgium.
“An increasing number of matches are being sanctioned in line with new protocols introduced last year,” said Nigel Wood, chairman of the RLIF.
“That is an encouraging sign of the importance our members place on international rugby league and is part of the legacy of the most successful World Cup ever staged last autumn.”
“As we begin the build up to the next one, I would like to congratulate those nations who have moved up in the rankings and, in particular, Spain and Denmark both of whom registered their first official Test victories this summer.”
The RLIF determine the rankings as follows, according to their official website:
“The Official Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) World Rankings are calculated on each nation’s performance over the current season and the four preceding seasons. Points are awarded to each team for each match based on:
-The result of the match i.e. win, lose or draw
-The margin of victory (or defeat)
-The relative strength of opposition faced
-The date of the match – more recent matches are weighted more heavily
-The importance of the match e.g. a World Cup match is given greater weighting than a standalone international.
“The points are then used to create the Official World Rankings by ordering the teams by virtue of the points gained over the five season period.
“Only matches played at senior level between two approved members are considered as part of the rankings.
“The World Rankings are automatically updated on the first day of every month. If that falls in the middle of an international series, the update will occur immediately following the series.”
Latest RLIF Rankings:
2) New Zealand
15) Cook Islands
29) South Africa
30) Czech Republic