Victory in the Four Nations has elevated Australia back to number one in the world rugby league rankings, released by the RLIF.
The Kangaroos leapfrog New Zealand, whom they defeated 34-8 in the tournament final at Anfield, Liverpool.
The NZ Kiwis had been the only other nation to head the standings, after winning the Anzac Test between the nations in mid-2015.
“It is nice to have the number one position now,” said Australian coach Mal Meninga. “We tend to talk about process in the build-up, but it is satisfying.
“The pressure’s on us now to stay there and we are very confident we can handle it.
“We look in good shape for the World Cup next year.”
The biggest leap in the rankings is by Scotland, who became the first nation to take a point off a top-three ranked nation since Papua New Guinea in 1990, when they held New Zealand to an 18-all draw in Workington, as part of the Four Nations.
The Bravehearts’ performances in the competition see them move from ninth to fourth in the rankings, the highest they have been.
“This is a very exciting moment for Scotland Rugby League,” said SRL chairman Keith Hogg.
“It is testament to the hard work that so many players, staff and volunteers have put into the establishment and development of our national team over many years, especially long-serving head coach Steve McCormack and skipper Danny Brough, who provided so many fantastic memories during the Four Nations.
“This is a real boost for the sport in Scotland and everyone involved will be working hard to
make the most of the increased exposure this landmark brings.”
For the first time, USA and Canada, who have been jointly awarded the 2025 World Cup, appear in the top 12 nations.
The 2016 international season has featured the most accredited international matches since the official rankings began.
The RLIF world rankings are based on the following criteria:
- Relative strength of opponents
- Score of the game
- Different competitions carry additional weighting
- More recent games carry greater weighting, as games degrade over a five-year period
The updated world rankings are:
2. New Zealand
15. Papua New Guinea
24. Czech Republic
25. Cook Islands
31. South Africa
37. Solomon Islands
39. El Salvador