Australia cement spot in world rankings

St Helens Star: Australia with the World Cup Australia with the World Cup

World champions Australia have cemented their status as the best nation in international Rugby League following their 34-2 victory over New Zealand in the final of Rugby League World Cup 2013 at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Saturday.

New Zealand, England and France remain in positions two to four, respectively, in the rankings, which also take into consideration results from other international competitions in recent months, including the European Bowl.

Fiji, who reached a World Cup semi-final for the second time in succession, have climbed from seventh to fifth spot in the rankings. The islanders have overtaken Wales and Papua New Guinea, who have both dropped a place following their disappointing efforts in RLWC2013.

USA have broken into the Top 10 for the first time after their impressive showing in the 14-nation tournament, where they defeated Wales and the Cook Islands to qualify for the quarter-finals.

USA are just a point behind ninth-placed Ireland whilst Tonga drop from 10th to 13th and Cook Islands jump from 18th to 14th.

Outside of RLWC2013, European Bowl champions Ukraine move from 25th to 21st place, and Greece and Hungary enter the rankings for the first time following their October Test match in Budapest.

The latest RLIF World Rankings are as follows (ranking points in brackets): 1 Australia (1108.833) 2 New Zealand (742.3752) 3 England (570.7717) 4 France (268.1451) 5 Fiji (201.4252) 6 Wales (173.2988) 7 PNG (166.7454) 8 Samoa (145.528) 9 Ireland (128.1147) 10 USA (127.2906) 11 Scotland (101.7701) 12 Italy (84.06377) 13 Tonga (54.86558) 14 Cook Islands (48.44054) 15 Russia (42.78) 16 Canada (41.60659) 17 Serbia (38.55369) 18 Germany (30.9796) 19 Norway (28.1608) 20 Lebanon (23.81483) 21 Ukraine (19.68) 22 Malta (19.3424) 23 Jamaica (15.4378) 24 Netherlands (10.416) 25 South Africa (8.353601) 26 Czech Republic (6.953681) 27 Denmark (5.6336) 28 Greece (5.488) 29 Belgium (4.6592) 30 Sweden (1.56) 31 Hungary (1.232)

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