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The World Rugby rankings determine which international side is considered the world’s best.
New Zealand and Australia often dominate the standings, while England are consistently the best performers from the northern hemisphere. The rankings are updated every Monday (European time).
To see the complete rankings for all 103 international rugby sides, head over to World Rugby’s website.
The World Rugby Rankings operate using a points exchange system, where two teams will exchange points following a game against each other. That is, the losing team’s points total will be reduced by the same amount that the winning side’s is increased by.
Each side has a points rating almost always ranging from 0-100, with the no.1 side in the world often ranked between 90-100. At the end of 2016, two sides – New Zealand and England – had more than 90 points.
A range of factors impact the number of points exchanged following each match, including each side’s ranking going into the match, the location of the game – to take into account home ground advantage – and the margin of the result.
Home ground advantage to is taken into account by ‘handicapping’ the home side – their ranking is given three additional points for the purpose of comparing the relative strength of the two sides.
If the margin of victory exceeds 15 points, then the points exchanged between the side is multiplied by 1.5.
All international matches are given the same weighting as each other for ranking purposes – so a Bledisloe Cup game is given no more weighting than a match between Georgia and Italy, for example – so as to not disadvantage those sides who don’t have access to rugby’s biggest tournaments.
The one exception to this is Rugby World Cup games, for which the points exchange is doubled.