Kangaroos reclaim top spot in international rugby league rankings

Australia's World Cup win has taken it back to the top of the international rugby league rankings.

Australia's World Cup win has taken it back to the top of the international rugby league rankings. Photo: AP

For the first time in three years, the Kangaroos are back on top of the International Rugby League’s world rankings following a third-straight World Cup final victory last month.

As a result of their inactivity since 2019, Mal Meninga’s side entered the competition in just fourth spot, but it reaffirmed its status with a convincing 30-10 win over Samoa in the final to reclaim first position.

“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,” Meninga said.

Samoa is the big winners, climbing to its highest-ever ranking of third after reaching its maiden final by seeing off Tonga and hosts England in the knockout stages.

New Zealand, which had previously been ranked first, has fallen to second while England slips to fourth after failing to reach a final on home soil when it was handed a favourable draw.

Tonga has tumbled from second to fifth, with Michael Cheika’s Lebanon big movers as it rose to eighth spot following its quarter-final finish.

The women’s rankings were unchanged with the Jillaroos’ dominant 54-4 win over New Zealand ensuring they hold onto top billing.

Brad Donald’s side is unbeaten in 13 straight Tests, stretching back to 2016.

The Kiwi Ferns are second, with England, PNG and France behind it.

Men’s rugby league ranking

1 – Australia

2 – New Zealand

3 – Samoa

4 – England

5 – Tonga

6 – PNG

7 – Fiji

8 – Lebanon

9 – France

10 – Wales

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