CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 09: Captain Benji Marshall of the Kiwis (C) and his team mates perform the Haka prior to the Rugby League Test match between the New Zealand Kiwis and the Great Britain Rugby League Lions at Orangetheory Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

New Zealand are officially the new number one international rugby league side in the latest world rankings.

The Kiwis leapfrogged Australia on the back of recent wins over Great Britain and Tonga to conclude the 2019 international programme.

The Kangaroos sit second, with England and Tonga rounding out the top four. Papa New Guinea have climbed four spots in the rankings to sit sixth.

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire told “This is a great honour and it is good to be recognised but we know that the Kangaroos hold the silverware and that is our ultimate ambition.

“The International Rugby League Oceania Cup is a fantastic development for the Kiwis and the nations in this region. It provides a meaningful competition and is a real focus for our international programme.”

International Rugby League chief executive officer added: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate New Zealand on achieving their number one position. It is fully deserved based upon their recent excellent performances with 4 wins from their last 5 international games.

“Tonga has possibly been the story of the recent internationals and they deserve all the plaudits that they have received. They have certainly cemented their place as a genuine top four-nation and, along with other Pacific nations, throws the competition wide open for Rugby League World Cup 2021.”

Official international rugby league rankings as of November 2019


  1. New Zealand +3
  2. Australia -1
  3. England – 1
  4. Tonga =
  5. Fiji =
  6. PNG +4
  7. Samoa =
  8. France -2
  9. Scotland -1
  10. Lebanon -1
  11. Greece =5
  12. Ireland =
  13. Italy +1
  14. Wales -3
  15. Serbia +4
  16. Malta +1
  17. Norway +1
  18. USA -3
  19. Poland +4
  20. Jamaica -7
  21. Hungary -1
  22. Czech Republic –
  23. Cook Islands +5
  24. Turkey +7
  25. Netherlands -1
  26. Spain +4
  27. Canada -6
  28. Nigeria New
  29. Solomon Islands -2
  30. Sweden +10
  31. Germany +4
  32. Chile +
  33. Ghana New
  34. Morocco +16
  35. Vanuatu -3
  36. South Africa =
  37. Russia – 8
  38. Cameroon New
  39. Ukraine -2
  40. Colombia +1
  41. Brazil +4
  42. Belgium =
  43. Denmark +4
  44. Bulgaria +4
  45. Latvia +4


  1. Australia =
  2. New Zealand =
  3. England =
  4. Papua New Guinea +2
  5. Canada -1
  6. France -1
  7. Cook Islands -2
  8. Italy =
  9. Serbia New
  10. Fiji New
  11. Turkey New
  12. Samoa New
  13. Brazil New
  14. Lebanon -6



  1. Surprising rankings, I would have thought Tonga would be ranked number one after recently defeating the two teams Australia and England that played in the World Cup Final.

    Latvia I beleive could defeat Soufths.

  2. What a joke. By any measure, the concept of “international rugby league” is a myth.

    I can remember the time when there were four countries who had a credible domestic competition and could field competitive international teams from that competition – Australia, England, France & NZ. They all had their moments and periods of success.

    Now, somehow, we have 45 countries playing rugby league that are deserving of a ranking. Please, give us a break. Who and when do these teams play, what is their domestic competition, who were the Bulgarian premiers last year, how many junior teams are playing in Columbia, what does the Latvian jersey look like.

    Let’s face facts. The only credible league competition at the moment is the NRL. England’s domestic competition is largely populated by former NRL players who would struggle to get a run in bush football in Australia. Just go and have a look at their team lists. It’s so bad they need to employ an Australian coach who would be lucky to name all of the English the super league teams, and use second rate Australian players who qualify because they have an English grand parent (Hastings, Coote, Austin). They couldn’t even compete with PNG last week – virtually a team of amateurs.

    NZ and France have essentially given up on having a domestic competition and have joined the Australian and English competitions respectively, with one team each.

    Virtually all of the players selected for the top tier nations (Australia, NZ, England, Tonga, Fiji, etc) are drawn from the NRL, with many having represented mare than one country, depending upon what suits them at the time.

    Imagine if this was the case in any other sport, like Rugby or Cricket? They would be a laughing stock.

    It’s time to recognise it for what it is – no real international rugby league, just a bunch of teams chosen in the same way touch footy teams are selected every day in the school playground.

    Anyway, roll on the next Solomon Islands v Cameroon home test series.

  3. Thought Tonga should be third atleast, GB made up mainly of the English lost to PNG and everyone. Glad NZ are back on top. Best player in the world in RTS with the best team hahahaha

Comments are closed.