Australia have reclaimed the world No.1 ranking after taking out the 2016 Four Nations tournament in dominant display – but the big movers are fellow Four Nations side Scotland, who have jumped to No.4.
The Kangaroos capped off a stellar year which included beating New Zealand four times – including a crushing 34-8 victory in the final at Anfield to leapfrog the Kiwis into first place.
The biggest jump in the rankings however 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 the Bravehearts held New Zealand to an 18-all draw in Workington as part of the Four Nations.
The Scottish performances in the competition moved them from ninth to fourth in the rankings, the highest they have been.
“This is a very exciting moment for Scotland Rugby League,” SRL chairman Keith Hogg told the RLIF website.
“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.
2. New Zealand
24. C. Republic
25. Cook Islands
31. South Africa
37. Solomon Islands
39. El Salvador