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Malta soars to 18th place in world list

The Maltese national team in action during an international match.

The Maltese national team in action during an international match.

The new world rankings, issued by the Rugby League International Federation recently, have seen Malta climb five places to an unprecedented 18th position.

A last-minute Danny Burke field goal, to give Malta a 35-34 win over Belgium in June, and an impressive performance against world number six Ireland at home in September helped the national team to their highest ever ranking since 2012.

At the top of the world list, New Zealand maintained their first position, closely followed by Australia and England.

Spain, who defeated Malta 40-30 in September, also climbed five places in the rankings and they’re now 21st.

Rugby League competition was first introduced to Malta in 2005.

Recently, after six years at the helm of the Maltese national team, head coach Anthony Micallef was succeeded by former Gateshead Thunder prop and Malta player-coach Chris Parker.

World’s top 20 nations
1. New Zealand; 2. Australia; 3. England; 4. Samoa; 5. France; 6. Ireland; 7. Fiji; 8. Wales; 9. Scotland; 10. United States; 11. Serbia; 12. Italy; 13. Canada; 14. Papua New Guinea; 15. Russia; 16. Tonga; 17. Belgium; 18. Malta; 19. Germany; 20. Lebanon.

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