New Zealand have moved to the top of the International Rugby League World Rankings – knocking Australia into second place.

The Kiwis have built on a successful 2018 by defeating Great Britain and Tonga during the 2019 international season.

The Kangaroos, who were beaten by Tonga recently, have dropped to second place on the rankings with Wayne Bennett’s England now down in third.

Tonga remain in fourth spot but their historic victory over the second placed Kangaroos has meant that they close the gap on England.

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After taking the number one place, Kiwis coach Michael Maguire told the RLIF website: “This is a great honour and it is good to be recognised but we know that the Kangaroos hold the silverware and that is our ultimate ambition.

“The International Rugby League Oceania Cup is a fantastic development for the Kiwis and the nations in this region. It provides a meaningful competition and is a real focus for our international programme.”

In the women’s international game, Australia remain top of the rankings with New Zealand, England, Papua New Guinea and Canada making up the top five.

Latest Rankings November 2019
Men
New Zealand
Australia
England
Tonga
Fiji
PNG
Samoa
France
Scotland
Lebanon
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Wales
Serbia
Malta
Norway
USA
Poland
Jamaica
Hungary
Czech Republic
Cook Islands
Turkey
Netherlands
Spain
Canada
Nigeria
Solomon Islands
Sweden
Germany
Chile
Ghana
Morocco
Vanuatu
South Africa
Russia
Cameroon
Ukraine
Colombia
Brazil
Belgium
Denmark
Bulgaria
Latvia

Women
Australia
New Zealand
England
Papua New Guinea
Canada
France
Cook Islands
Italy
Serbia
Fiji
Turkey
Samoa
Brazil
Lebanon

Photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz /SWpix.com