Tonga move above England in rugby league world rankings

Siliva Havili Tonga international rugby league SWpix
Photo: PhotosportNZ/

Tonga are now second behind New Zealand in the latest International Rugby League Men’s World Rankings.

In their first test match since beating Australia in 2019, Tonga were beaten 26-6 by New Zealand.

But their results in that series three years, which included beating Great Britain, has seen them climb the rankings.

England slip having played a Combined Nations All Stars team in June rather than a test opponent.

Wales jumped seven places from 23rd to 16th despite their defeat to France, their first match since 2019.

Serbia are ranked eighth after winning last year’s Euro B Championship.

The rankings have drawn criticism, with Australia down in fourth place having not played a game in nearly three years.

Nations are awarded ranking points every time they play a sanctioned international.

Result and margin, the strength of opponent and the importance of the match are also factored in to the criteria.

Only games since the 2017 World Cup are considered.

IRL chair Troy Grant said: “Wales have the potential to be the Tonga of the Northern Hemisphere.

“It is great to have seen many nations recently return to international action and what the latest IRL World Rankings show is that nations who are active can climb the rankings.

“The rankings also suggest that you can’t rest on your laurels from past performances and being active is important, particularly leading into the World Cup.

“With the Kiwis showing that they will be hard to beat, Tonga’s rise continuing and the performances of Samoa and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Tests, the Men’s World Cup is wide open.

“Recent results suggest that the Women’s and Wheelchair World Cups will also be keenly contested, and we are all excited about the continuing growth of international rugby league.”

In the women’s rankings, Australia remain top ahead of England and New Zealand.

But with Australia not having played since 2019, the gap at the top is narrow.

Men’s World Rankings (July 2022)

  1. New Zealand
  2. Tonga
  3. England
  4. Australia
  5. Papua New Guinea
  6. Fiji
  7. Samoa
  8. Serbia
  9. France
  10. Malta
  11. Greece
  12. Ireland
  13. Lebanon
  14. Netherlands
  15. Scotland
  16. Wales
  17. Italy
  18. Czech Republic
  19. Turkey
  20. Cook Islands
  21. Jamaica
  22. Poland
  23. Norway
  24. Philippines
  25. Germany
  26. Ukraine
  27. USA
  28. Nigeria
  29. Spain
  30. South Africa
  31. Ghana
  32. Chile
  33. Morocco
  34. Sweden
  35. Hungary
  36. Cameroon
  37. Russia
  38. Canada
  39. Solomon Islands
  40. Brazil
  41. Bulgaria
  42. Vanuatu
  43. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  44. Montengro
  45. Colombia
  46. Denmark
  47. Belgium
  48. Latvia

Women’s World Rankings

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. England
  4. Papua New Guinea
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Wales
  8. Serbia
  9. Turkey
  10. Tonga
  11. Cook Islands
  12. Fiji
  13. Italy
  14. Ireland
  15. USA
  16. Samoa
  17. Brazil
  18. Greece
  19. Argentina
  20. Lebanon
About James Gordon 7127 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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