International rugby is the highest tier of rugby and there have been some incredible teams since test rugby began all the way back in 1871.
Who is the most successful rugby nation? New Zealand are the most successful rugby nation of all time, in most major categories like; wins, World Cup victories and time ranked number 1 in the world.
New Zealand is the most successful rugby nation by quite a way if you look back at the history of international rugby. If you look at the statistics, New Zealand has a lot of records that would make you consider them the most successful rugby nation.
It begins by just looking at wins and losses. New Zealand have the most wins in the history of test match rugby, with 473 wins which is 43 more than England in second place. They have by far the highest win rate of any team at 76.91% which is much more than South Africa in second place on 62.69%.
New Zealand are tied for the most Rugby World Cup victories with three, tied with South Africa. Since the World Ranking points were established in 2003, New Zealand have by far spent the longest time at number one. They had almost a decade in a row at number one and 128 matches in a row.
Despite being at their lowest ranking at the moment, New Zealand are still the most successful rugby nation of all time and their impact on international rugby is huge. It is one of those questions in rugby where the answer is pretty much unanimous.
Who is the best rugby nation in the world?
At the time of writing, Ireland are ranked as the number one Men’s international side in the world in World Rugby Rankings. It is their second time at number one in the world rankings and if you have been following the summer tests series you can understand why Ireland are currently ranked as the best rugby nation in the world.
There are a few different reasons why Ireland is the best rugby nation in the world. It begins with some massive recent results. Ireland had a good Six Nations, finishing second behind France with four out of five wins.
The main reason for Ireland being number one is because of the incredible test series they just had against New Zealand. Ireland recorded a historic series win against New Zealand. It was the first time that Ireland have won a test series in their history and became only the third side ever to win a three-test series in New Zealand.
It was a historic result for Ireland and was the driving force for why Ireland are now the best rugby nation in the world according to the world rankings. It mainly comes from a group of star-studded players who fit perfectly into the system that Andy Farrell has built.
With pretty much all of the Ireland team playing for Leinster, they have the tactics installed pretty much year-round. Players like Jamison Gibson Park, Johnny Sexton, James Lowe, Josh Van der Flier and many more can work on the fastball, physical rugby that works well for Ireland.
It also helps that Ireland has a star-studded team with some of the best players in the world. Johnny Sexton is playing at pretty much his best level, orchestrating an attack featuring brilliant ball carriers like James Lowe, Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw.
Up front, Ireland have one of the best forward packs in the world. Tadhg Furlong is a brilliant modern-day prop. Ireland also have the best back row in the world with Josh Van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, Jack Conan and Caelan Doris are absolutely brilliant and do everything for this Irish team.
Is France the best rugby team in the world?
There are certainly a lot of things that would make you think that France is the best rugby nation in the world. However, they are currently ranked as number two in the World Rugby Rankings, behind Ireland. The World Rankings may have Ireland first but France could still be the best team in the world.
France have not lost a game since the third test of their tour of Australia in 2021. Since then, France have recorded an undefeated Autumn series where they recorded a historic 15-point win over New Zealand.
France started off 2022 by winning their first Grand Slam title since 2010, which included a six-point win over the current number one team in the world, Ireland. French teams have also been dominating European rugby this season with both the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup winners being French teams.
France also won both games of their summer tour of Japan. The French side decided to rest a lot of stars for the tour, with superstars Antoine Dupont, Romaine Ntamack and Cameron Woki being rested.
Despite two victories against Japan in Japan, the tour success does not match up to the efforts of Ireland this summer. France were briefly first in the world before Ireland overtook them thanks to their third test victory against New Zealand.
There are a lot of reasons why France could be considered the best team in the world. It is interesting to think whether France could have done what Ireland did this summer, but mainly based on the summer, I think France are just behind Ireland as the best team in the world.
Is South Africa the best rugby team in the world?
There is also a case that South Africa are the best team in the world as they were three years ago when they won the World Cup. South Africa defeated Wales 2-1 in a summer series and showed their might with some great performances throughout from Handre Pollard, Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth.
But South Africa have not quite been at their physical best over the last couple of years, still trying to get over the Covid-19 disruption. With losses to Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales over the last 12 months, it is difficult to see South Africa as the best team in the world even if they can still beat anyone on their day.