The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
View E-Paper

Malta’s rugby league team breaks into global top 10

Sunday, 24 July 2022, 14:25 Last update: about 3 years ago

Malta’s rugby league national team has broken into the global top 10, as the International Rugby League rankings for July were recently released.

International Rugby League world rankings are based upon results over the past 4 years of competition. They are expressed as a percentage of the Number 1 ranked nation, which is currently rugby powerhouse New Zealand.

Tonga, England, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Serbia, and France are the other countries ranked above Malta.

Malta climbed five places from 15th in the rankings in the latest update, to place 10th in the world, the highest global ranking a Maltese national team has ever achieved.

Rugby League is one out of two major disciplines in rugby, with the other being rugby union, which is more widely practiced locally than rugby league is.

Malta however takes advantage of a heavy following for rugby league in Australia, where the Malta Rugby League (MRL) runs highly successful heritage pathways to identify players with Maltese heritage who can represent the country.

A significant number of Malta’s home matches are in fact played in Australia, and Malta most recently faced Lebanon in a 30-14 defeat at the Belmore Sports Ground in New South Wales in Australia.

A month prior however, Malta faced unranked Montenegro in the Charles Abela Stadium in Mosta, emerging as 66-6 winners. 

It was the first international match which Malta played on home soil since a 34-22 defeat to Ukraine in June 2018.

 

  • don't miss