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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