England take number one spot after decade of dominance from rivals

There is a new No.1 nation in the wheelchair rankings, with England leapfrogging France after their World Cup triumph.

England ended France’s World Cup domination since 2013 with a gripping 28-24 win in the final at Manchester Central before a world record crowd of 4,526, which was watched by more than 1 million viewers on the BBC

As a result of their success this year, which includes a 62-48 triumph against France in June, England have usurped their long time rivals for the No.1 spot on the IRL World Rankings.

England coach Tom Coyd said: “This is a great way to finish an amazing year. We had the target of beating France in our home World Cup pretty much since the last World Cup in 2017.

“But we always recognised it would be a massive challenge to overtake them as the world number one – and the quality and intensity of the Final in Manchester underlined that.

“I’m delighted for all the guys who worked so hard for so long – and it’s also great to see the effect of the World Cup in the expansion of the world rankings, as Wheelchair Rugby League goes to another level.”

Australia are third after competitive performances against England in the opening match of the World Cup and France in the semi-final, followed by Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Spain.

United States, who made their international wheelchair debut at the World Cup are eighth and showed great potential.

England Wheelchair Rugby League GM Martin Coyd, OBE, said: “After an incredible Rugby League World Cup where we were able to showcase our game to the whole sporting world, we are thrilled to be ranked as world No.1.

“The national teams are getting stronger, particularly the Australians, and the emergence of the USA is very exciting
“Being world champions and world No.1 is a special time, and we ill enjoy it whilst striving to get better for 2025.”

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