In 2003, an international rugby rankings system was introduced. Since then, when international rugby teams have played against each other, they’ve competed for ranking points.
When the system was first launched, England topped the international rankings after the team won the 2003 edition of the Rugby World Cup. However, since, New Zealand have dominated the international rugby rankings. Between 2009 and 2019, they held the number one spot in the international rugby rankings uninterrupted. But, since they were toppled in 2019, several teams have held the top spot.
Rugby union is now a truly global game. As of 2020, World Rugby has 102 member unions and a further 18 nations hold associate member status. As a result, all across the world, international rugby teams now often play against each other for bragging rights, trophies and world ranking points. No matter what month of the year it may be, you’re sure to find some international rugby fixtures you can watch on the TV somewhere in the world.