The World Rugby rankings are quite important to international rugby. They help to make the Rugby World Cup groups. So how do the rankings actually work, let’s take a look.
How does rugby world ranking work? World Rugby rankings work on a points exchange system. This means that one team takes points off another when they play against each other. This produces a ranking of who the best international sides in the world are at any given time.
A snapshot of the Rugby World Rankings page from World Rugby can be seen above
The basis of the World Rugby ranking system is that when two teams play against each other, the winning team will gain as many ranking points as the losing team will lose. The exact figure of the exchange is more difficult to figure out. So, for example, if Ireland beat France, Ireland could gain two World Rugby ranking points, while France would lose two ranking points.
The figure is always the same between the losing team and the winning team. However, the value of the exchange is based on a few different things. The exchange changes depending on the relative strength of each team, the margin of victory and whether one team had home advantage.
So, if a lower placed team beats one of the top teams, they will get more points then if a top team beats another top team. But it also means that the scoreline makes a difference. If an international team wins by 30 points, this will get them more ranking points then if they win by 3 points.
The other major rule that has a large effect on World Rugby rankings is the rules around the Rugby World Cup. Point exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup, to highlight the importance and stature of the competition. Only matches between teams that are full international games count towards the ranking points.
All countries who are a member of World Rugby have a rating which is typically between 0 and 100. The top teams in the world will usually have a rating of near 100.
Rugby world rankings live
At the time of writing, Ireland are the number one ranked team in the world. They are currently on 91.82 points. They are just ahead of France in second place who are currently on 90.47 points. It is hardly surprising that these two teams are top of the rankings as they are seen as the best two teams in the world.
New Zealand are currently third in the World Rugby rankings on 88.98 points, with South Africa just 0.01 points behind on 88.97 points in fourth. Both of these teams will have the opportunity to improve on their points tally before the Rugby World Cup, thanks to The Rugby Championship.
Where are the All Blacks ranked
The All Blacks are one of the most famous rugby teams in the world. They have a long history including three Rugby World Cup victories. So where is the team currently ranked?
The All Blacks are currently ranked as the third best international rugby team in the world. This is according to the World Rugby Ranking, which has New Zealand below France and Ireland. This is not a huge surprise considering the All Blacks have not been at their very best in the last few years.
Last year, Ireland beat New Zealand 2-1 in a series which was held in New Zealand. It is incredibly rare for the All Blacks to lose a single game in New Zealand, so to lose a series was a shocking result which did not help the All-Blacks rankings. New Zealand have also lost to France recently, one of the reasons why they are behind them in the rankings.
One of the other reasons why New Zealand are behind France and Ireland in the World rankings is because those two teams have played more recently than New Zealand. The All Blacks will have the chance to add to their ranking points in summer 2023 when they play in The Rugby Championship against South Africa, Australia and Argentina. This should see their rating rise.
Where are Wales ranked?
The Welsh rugby team has been at the top of the World rankings in the past. But the current team is nowhere near as good as some of the teams of old, which is why their ranking is so low.
Wales are currently ranked as the ninth best team in the world, according to the World Rugby rankings. This puts eight teams above Wales which are Ireland, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland, England, Australia and Argentina. It is not a great place for Wales to be in, just before a Rugby World Cup.
But Welsh Rugby is in turmoil at the moment. In the Six Nations, Wales have been terrible recently, finishing fifth in back-to-back years most recently. They also have some embarrassing losses over the last 18 months to Georgia and Italy. They have looked pretty poor recently and so it is no surprise that Wales are ranked so low.
In fact, they are close to dropping out of the top 10 altogether if their form does not improve soon. Japan and Georgia are both less than two ranking points behind Wales at the time of writing.
Who is better at rugby, Wales or France?
At the moment, it is pretty easy to say who is the better rugby team between Wales and France. France are currently one of the best rugby teams in the world, having won the Grand Slam in 2022. They are one of, if not the favourite for the Rugby World Cup later this year.
Whereas Wales are on one of their worst runs of form in the team’s history. Wales have finished fifth in the last two Six Nations tournaments, as well as disappointing losses to Georgia and Italy. France have won the last two matchups against Wales with ease, showing they are the better rugby team.
All time it is more difficult to say who is better at rugby. Wales are the more successful team in the Six Nations; however, France have had more success in the Rugby World Cup. So all-time it is very difficult to say who is better.