World Rugby League Rankings for 2009

By Daniel Andruczyk

Happy New year to all the readers of RLIS! I hope that you had a prosperous and safe Christmas and New year holiday and that those of you in Europe aren’t frozen too much and those in Australia haven’t melted. I myself have been on a short break with some family from Sweden playing tourist guide and I must say I found some absolutely wonderful spots that I never knew existed along the way. Well the first blog for 2010 is upon us and the topic is a predictable one I suppose.

Well as in true tradition of the Rugby League International Federation no rankings of nations have been put forward. Indeed I had an email the other day from Richard de la Riviere of Rugby League World Magazine asking what would be my list. So Here it is my ranking of the countries ending 2009.

The System

The ranking system I have employed over the last few years is not a totally simple one. Unfortunately these things never are, but what I try and do is reward countries that not only play in the major tournaments but also help in the spread and development of the game.

There are a few omissions and assumptions as well, I don’t really look at anything below the senior level as its hard to get any good accurate figures for these and I split games into four categories with different weightings. One is for World Cup games (including qualifiers), the next is for test matches and matches where the top national senior team was involved third the games played at the A and B senior level and lastly any other one off tour games played by a nation or in tournaments like 7’s or 9’s that I can information on.

One big assumption that is made is at the senior level any, tournaments like the four nations, Pacific cup, European Shield, Bowl, Cup and Med all have equal weighting. Even though these are tiers tournaments they all involve the top national teams.

The Weighting

Each match is cast into one of the categories and is weighted. The World Cup category has a x4 multiplier, the test match category has a x3 weighting, the A/B senior level has a x2 weighting and the other has a x1 weighting. On top of that each nations has a further weighting from 4 to 1 depending on how developed their domestic competition is this is to reward nations that are working towards setting up a multi-tier domestic comp over time.

Wins are given a score of 3, draws 2 and losses 1. So even a team with many losses gates some points. This helps in the over all scheme of things to be able to rank teams as well.

When teams are on equal points they are then ranked through by average points and when that is the same by the total number pof games played.


The tough one has been Great Britain and the home nations and how to deal with them. In the end I decided that England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Great Britain will all be considered on an individual basis. How you want to then go and interpret there I will leave up to you.

So obviously with no World Cup matches this year the last category will have no matches in it and so no weighting.


All up 41 nations have taken part in international rugby league and domestic rugby league this year. This is very exciting as it basically stands consistent with last year meaning that even though the number of countries is not rising that much its no falling either. So without further delay here are the rankings:

  1. Australia, 364
  2. England, 267
  3. Wales, 220
  4. Fiji, 212
  5. Cook Island, 176
  6. France, 172
  7. Ireland, 156
  8. Scotland, 152
  9. Papua New Guinea, 148
  10. New Zealand, 144
  11. Lebanon, 120
  12. Italy, 96
  13. Tonga, 92
  14. South Africa, 64
  15. Ukraine, 63
  16. Germany, 60
  17. Serbia, 60
  18. Great Britain, 56
  19. Samoa, 46
  20. Malta, 42
  21. United States of America, 36
  22. Morocco, 36
  23. Czech Republic, 30
  24. Belgium, 21
  25. United Arab Emirates, 19
  26. Greece, 18
  27. Norway, 15
  28. Spain (Catalonia), 15
  29. Denmark, 12
  30. Latvia, 12
  31. Japan, 10
  32. Jamaica, 9
  33. Niue, 9
  34. Sweden, 8
  35. Estonia, 6
  36. Portugal, 6
  37. Russia, 4
  38. Netherlands, 2
  39. Solomon Islands, 2
  40. Pakistan, 2
  41. Saudi Arabia, 1

To see the full layout of the points click here.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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12 Responses to “World Rugby League Rankings for 2009”

  1. sportsmad says:

    thats a ludicrous list druzik. nz at number 10. theres no way the cook islands could beat nz. samoa would crush ukraine in a triple digit scoreline.

    • druzik says:

      I don’t think so actually.

      Look my system takes an over all picture of the stste of rugby league and the way things are. Its not just based on results but on how many matches are played, what level they are played at, the development of the sport teams do, how developed the domestic comp… its an over all snap shop of things.

      I think it actually shows a pretty good indication of things. Yes you are rite that NZ would neat Cook Is and teams above them, but they also have played bugger all matches at any level, Australia on the otherhand I was amazed to see are HUGE in the promotion of the sport overseas. Last year alone senior teams made tours to the Pac Islands, Serbia and South Africa and not just for one match but these were like 3 match series! The Kiwis on the other habd played 5 test and one A game against Samoa…. 6 matches in the whole year. England were also very prevalent and if it wasnt for my seperation of GB would probably be leaving the aussies in the water for #1. The British isles and France do Heaps of touring and hosting of internationals.

      I bet that if you just took test matches and tournament matches then NZ would still be down at around 10 as well.

      Now I am not saying that the system is perfect, but certainly its better than nothing and gives an indication of the state of the game.

  2. Crimpo says:

    Hmmmm – possibly a shortage of weighting there Druzik!

    NZ are clearly No 3. We now have competitions giving a respectable line-up in Europe and the Pacific. How they mesh together – and how we then place the likes of Russia, the US, SA, UAE and Jamaica are the real issues.

    • druzik says:

      In which parts?

      I am happy to play around with it if you think something should be weighted more.

      Yes NZ are probably #3 one-on-one with teams … but in overall terms of the development of the sport I think its a fair indictaion.

      Re your how it all gells together comment, go back through mu blogs to the end of october last year and I have a 4 part series of blogs on how to fix the game internationally. Have a read through them and tell me what you think.

  3. stevec says:

    Delighted to see Wales at number 3 and hoping the sport will finally come out from ‘unions’ shadow but even with my most rose tinted specs I cannot see us being better that NZ and France as things currently stand.

    IMHO we would be somewhere around 5 or 6 with some of the stronger pacific nations and France are the logical (local) target for us to aspire to.

  4. stevec says:

    Fair enough, was just adding some thoughts……

  5. C.T.SANDERS says:

    So russia is ranked 37th in the world?How did you arrive with that ranking?

  6. fiji says:


    Nz recently won the RLWC and 4 nations so they should be first and aussie 2nd
    Glad to see FIJI IN 4TH !!!

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