Australia has returned to the top of the international rugby league rankings following on from the Kangaroos’ success at the recent World Cup in England.
The Aussies defeated Samoa 30-10 in the final at Old Trafford last month, seeing them hit top spot for the first time in three years as the pandemic limited their international appearances.
Mal Meninga spoke following the rankings update: “This is great news,” the Kangaroos coach said.
“I feel that we thoroughly deserve to get our No.1 ranking back considering the increased challenges now with the rise of the Pacific nations.”
Samoa’s run at the World Cup has seen them rise from seventh to third, the highest spot ever held by a Pacific nation, with England one back in fourth.
Take a look at the top 10 below.
International rugby league rankings: Men
|6||Papua New Guinea|
In the women’s game, the all-conquering Jillaroos retained their place at the top of the rankings, with no change in the first four nations.
Australia defeated New Zealand 54-4 in the final at the World Cup to underline their dominance.
International rugby league rankings: Women
|4||Papua New Guinea|
IRL chair Troy Grant paid tribute to the Australian teams for their success.
“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,” Grant said.
“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.”