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World Rugby Rankings: Up-to-date international rugby standings

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The World Rugby rankings determine which international side is considered the world’s best.

The Wallabies rose to third on the table following twin upset victories over reigning World Cup winners the Springboks in the 2021 Rugby Championship, but three losses in a row to Scotland, England and Wales on the 2021 Spring Tour saw them slide back to sixth.

Meanwhile, the Boks are playing pass-the-parcel with the All Blacks for the number one ranking, going back past the New Zealanders thanks to their win over Scotland, and the All Blacks’ shock losses to Ireland and France in late 2021.

France jumped past New Zealand into second after an impressive Six Nations series.

Current World Rugby Rankings

Position Team Points
1 South Africa 90.61
2 France 88.88
3 New Zealand 88.75
4 Ireland 88.22
5 England 84.50
6 Wallabies 83.92
7 Scotland 81.80
8 Argentina 80.58
9 Wales 79.28
10 Japan 78.26
11 Fiji 76.62
12 Samoa 73.59
13 Georgia 73.47
14 Italy 72.33
15 Spain 68.57
16 Tonga 67.72
17 Romania 66.95
18 USA 66.54
19 Uruguay 66.40
20 Portugal 65.72

To see the complete rankings for all 105 international rugby sides, head over to World Rugby’s website.

Aaron Smith

(Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)

The rankings explained

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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.

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.

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