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World Rugby Rankings

As the 2019 Rugby World Cup draws ever closer, there has been a lot of talk of late about international teams going for the No 1 ranking in the world, which got us thinking. How exactly do the World Rugby Rankings work? How are they worked out? Below we explain all.

The below explanation is taken directly from the World Rugby website:

Both Men’s and Women’s World Rugby Rankings are calculated using a ‘Points Exchange’ system, in which sides take points off each other based on the match result. Whatever one side gains, the other loses.

The exchanges are based on the match result, the relative strength of each team, and the margin of victory, and there is an allowance for home advantage.

To ‘handicap’ the home side, we treat them as though they are three points stronger than their current rating, which means that they will tend to pick up fewer points for winning, and give away more points for losing

Points exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup Finals to recognise the unique importance of this event, but all other full international matches are treated the same, to be as fair as possible to countries playing a different mix of friendly and competitive matches across the world.

Any match that is not a full international between two member countries does not count at all.

All member countries have a rating, typically between 0 and 100. The top side in the world will normally have a rating above 90.

So bearing all this in mind, what exactly are the current rankings? The top 20 list sits below.

Current World Rugby Rankings

(In brackets are the points earned by each team)

The World Rugby Rankings are updated at 12 noon (UK & Ireland time) every Monday. New Zealand have sat atop the standings since November 2009 but Wales’ 13-6 World Cup warm-up win over England in Cardiff this weekend means they have moved into the No 1 spot for the first time.

1. Wales (89.43)

2. New Zealand (89.40)

3. Ireland (88.69)

4. South Africa (86.83)

5. England (86.79)

6. Australia (84.05)

7. France (80.58)

8. Scotland (79.01)

9. Japan  (77.21)

10. Fiji (76.98)

11. Argentina (76.29)

12. Georgia (74.42)

13. Italy (72.04)

14. USA (71.93)

15. Tonga (71.49)

16. Samoa (69.08)

17. Spain (68.15)

18. Romania (66.69)

19. Uruguay (65.18)

20. Russia (64.81)

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