Scotland leap to fourth in RLIF world rankings
Australia top the RLIF world rankings again, but the real story is Scotland leaping up to fourth place.
The Kangaroos sealed their return to the top spot by beating New Zealand in the Four Nations final at Anfield on Sunday.
New Zealand had been the only nation other than Australia to hold top spot, which they did in 2015.
“It is nice to have the number one position now,” said Kangroos coach Mal Meninga.
“We tend to talk about process in the build-up but it is satisfying; the pressure’s on us now to stay there and we are very confident we can handle it.
“We look in good shape for the World Cup next year.”
Scotland became the first nation outside the top three to win a point in the Four Nations, with their draw against New Zealand at Workington.
Their leap from ninth place takes the Bravehearts to their highest ever position in the rankings.
“This is a very exciting moment for Scotland Rugby League,” said SRL chairman Keith Hogg.
“It is testament to the hard work that so many players, staff and volunteers have put into the establishment and development of our national team over many years, especially long-serving head coach Steve McCormack and skipper Danny Brough who provided so many fantastic memories during the Four Nations.
“This is a real boost for the sport in Scotland and everyone involved will be working hard to make the most of the increased exposure this landmark brings.”
The USA and Canada also appear in the top 12 for the first time, with the 2015 World Cup set to be held in North America.
The 2016 international season has featured the most accredited international matches since the official rankings began.
RLIF WORLD RANKINGS
2. New Zealand
24. C. Republic
25. Cook Islands
31. South Africa
37. Solomon Islands
39. El Salvador
The RLIF World Rankings are based upon the following criteria:
· The relative strength of the opponents
· The score of the game
· Different competitions carry additional weighting
· More recent games carry greater weighting as games degrade over a 5 year period