Women’s game to have rankings

Date published: February 1 2016

World Rugby has announced details of the first-ever official global ranking system for Women's Test rugby, with New Zealand at the summit.

The rankings were introduced after a comprehensive process of obtaining and analysing every result from the first official women's international matches dating back to 1987 and are based on the same criteria as the men's rankings.

Fans will not have to wait long for some big rankings clashes as three of the top five teams will go head-to-head during this year's Six Nations, which kicks off this weekend.

The new system, which comes into effect from 1 February 2016, will be a weighted system with the number of points available to the winning team proportional to the difference in ranking points between the teams prior to the match.

Introduction of the women's rankings furthers anticipation ahead of an exciting 18 months of test rugby that will culminate in the much-anticipated Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "World Rugby is committed to driving forward the competitiveness of the women's game and the new rankings are yet another significant milestone.

"After the success of Women's Rugby World Cup in 2014 and the excitement building up to the next edition in 2017 in Ireland, it's vital for international teams to have a rankings focus that will drive exposure and interest as well as increasing the competition schedule, as it encourages member unions to play more test matches.

"It's a positive step for one of the fastest growing team sports in the world, as it brings parity with the men's game. Today's announcement also comes as a timely boost ahead of what will be an exciting Women's Six Nations Championship."

Women's Rugby World Cup winner with England, Rachael Burford, who also sits on the Rugby Committee and Athlete's Commission, added: "It's great to see an official rankings system introduced to the women's game.

"I believe the rankins will really add an extra competitive edge for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations and other international test matches in the future, which can only be good for the game. The rankings will also give an extra boost to the promotion of the women's game around the world."

Women's World Rankings

1 New Zealand – 92.08
2 France – 87.18
3 England – 86.71
4 Ireland – 83.61
5 Canada – 82.12
6 USA – 81.23
7 Australia – 80.03
8 Italy – 76.97
9 Spain – 76.60
10 Wales – 74.00