All Blacks reach new heights: Proof they are the best ever?

Julian Savea, Kieran Read and Beauden Barrett celebrate Savea's try in the All Blacks and Argentina Rugby Championship test match. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Julian Savea, Kieran Read and Beauden Barrett celebrate Savea's try in the All Blacks and Argentina Rugby Championship test match. Photo / Jason Oxenham

The All Blacks have reached new heights. Steve Hansen's men have held the number one spot in world rugby since 2009 but the current side have recorded the highest ever points mark since the introduction of the rankings in 2003.

The latest World Rugby rankings have the All Blacks on 96.30 points, 6.81 points ahead of second ranked England. The All Blacks moved to the highest ever mark following the opening Rugby Championship thrashing of Australia and have retained the benchmark with three more big wins over Australia, Argentina and South Africa.

The gap between New Zealand and England is more than the number of points that separates 3rd (South Africa) and 9th spot (Scotland).

The All Blacks dropped to 92.72 points following their last defeat to Australia last August but have recorded 15 straight test wins since including a second straight Rugby World Cup title.

The rugby ranking system was brought in by the IRB just before the 2003 World Cup.

It didn't start as it meant to go on because England were the first No 1-ranked team and Australia also started above New Zealand.

Since then, it has been an All Black landslide apart from three brief spells when they were at No 2.

South Africa is the only other country to hold the No1 spot which they last held in 2009, when the current All Black reign began. Since taking back the top spot the All Blacks have played 90 tests, winning 82 with six defeats and two draws for a 92 percent winning record.

South Africa, England, Australia, Ireland and Wales have also moved into second spot during the All Blacks' run at the top.

All Blacks fullback Ben Smith made his debut against Italy two days after New Zealand re-gained the No1 spot in 2009, meaning the side have held the top ranking during all of his 55 test appearances

- NZ Herald

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