Top 20 Rankings
as of 1 December 2008
1Flag of New Zealand New Zealand 92.68
2Template:Country data RSA 89.59
3Flag of Australia Australia 87.42
4Argentina 85.55
5Wales 84.20
6England 80.32
7Template:Country data IRE 78.50
8Template:Country data SCO 76.73
9Template:Country data FIJ 75.88
10Template:Country data WAL 74.17
11Template:Country data ITA 73.48
12Template:Country data SAM 71.61
13Template:Country data TON 71.51
14Template:Country data CAN 67.25
15Template:Country data ROM 66.73
16Template:Country data GEO 66.42
17Template:Country data RUS 65.88
18Template:Country data JPN 65.35
19Template:Country data USA 64.68
20Template:Country data URU 63.18

The IRB World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in rugby union. The teams of the member nations of IRB (International Rugby Board), governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. A point system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of IRB-recognized international matches. Under the system, rankings are based on a team's performance, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team. The ranking system was introduced after the 2003 Rugby World Cup, with the first edition of the new series of rankings issued on October 20, 2003.

Uses of the rankingsEdit

The rankings are used by the IRB to rank the progression and current ability of the national rugby union teams of its member nations, but the data is used by IRB for very few things. They are not even used as part of the calculation to seed competitions such as the Rugby World Cup, relying on results of previous world cups to do this.

Rank leadersEdit

IRB World Ranking Leaders
South Africa national rugby union teamAll BlacksEngland national rugby union teamAll BlacksEngland national rugby union team

When the system was introduced, England debuted as the top ranked team following their extended period of dominance in which they had won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. However, a resurgency in the form of New Zealand helped them take the lead from 7 June, 2004. After winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, South Africa became only the third team to achieve first place in the rankings.poo

Current calculation methodEdit

All IRB member countries have been given a rating that is in the range of 0 to 100 with the top side in the world achieving a rating of about 90 points. The actual point system is calculated using a 'Points Exchange' system, in which sides receive points from each other based upon the match result. Whatever one side gains, the other loses. The exchanges are based on the match result, the ranking of each team, and the margin of victory. There is also an allowance for home advantage. As the system aims to depict current team strengths, past successes or losses will fade and be superseded by more recent results. Thus, it is thought that it will produce an accurate picture depicting the actual current strength and thus rank of the nations.[2] The rankings are responsive to results and it is possible to climb from the to the top from the bottom (and vice-versa) in less than 20 matches. As all matches are worth a total of 0 points (as whatever one side gains, the other loses) there is no particular advantage to playing more matches. Under the system, a country has a certain rating, which stays the same until they play again. Although matches often result in points exchanges, relatively 'predictable' results lead to

very minor changes, and may result in no change to either side's rating at all.

All blacks on 201562565365 will win the world cup 2234-0

How it works Edit

The system ensures that it is representative of the teams' performance despite playing differing numbers of matches per annum, and the differing strength of opposition that teams have to face. The factors taken into account are as follows:

  • Match result
  • Match status
  • Opposition strength
  • Home advantage

Match resultEdit

For each match played points exchanges are awarded for the following five outcomes and was developed using results of international matches from 1871 to the present day:

  • a win or loss by more than 15 points
  • a win or loss by up to 15 points
  • a draw

Match statusEdit

Different matches have different importance to teams, and the IRB has tried to respect this by using a weighting system, where the most significant matches are in the World Cup Finals. Thus, points exchanges are doubled during the World Cup Finals to recognise the unique importance of this event. All other full international matches are treated the same, to be as fair as possible to countries playing a different mix of friendly and competitive matches across the world. Matches that do not have full international status between two member countries do not count at all.pssy poo diddle

Opposition strengthEdit

Obviously, a win against a very highly ranked opponent is a considerably greater achievement than a win against a low-rated opponent, so the strength of the opposing team is a factor. Thus match results are more important than margins of victory in producing accurate rankings. This is because when a highly ranked tier 1 team plays a lowly-ranked tier 3 team and manages to beat them by over 50 points, it does not indicate how either team will perform in the future.

Home advantage Edit

When calculating points exchanges, the home side is handicapped by treating them as though they are three rating points better than their actual current rating. This results in the home side gaining fewer points for winning and losing more points for losing. Because of this, any advantage that a side may have by playing in front of their home crowd is cancelled out.

New and dormant nationsEdit

All new member nations start with a 40 points, which is provisional until they have completed 10 test matches. When countries merge, the new country inherits the highest rating of any of the two countries but when they split, the new countries will inherit a rating at a fixed level below the rating of the original country.

Countries that have not played a test in a couple of years are removed from the ranking system and the list but if they are active again, they will pick up their ratings from where they left off.

References Edit

  1. World Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-12-1.
  2. Rankings Explanation. Retrieved on 2007-09-16.

External links Edit

Template:International rugby union