Rugby: All Blacks now the best ever per world rankings

Beauden Barrett has been instrumental for the All Blacks this year. Photo / Photosport
Beauden Barrett has been instrumental for the All Blacks this year. Photo / Photosport

New Zealand's iron grip on the world rugby rankings has been reinforced just as British newspaper readers lauded the current All Blacks side as the greatest team in rugby history.

World Rugby's latest world rankings have just been released - and reaffirm what has been apparent for the last two months - the All Blacks are light years ahead of the chasing pack.

New Zealand have climbed to the highest points total of any team since the rankings were introduced in 2003, sitting on 96.57 points.

The achievement comes as readers of the London Daily Telegraph news website's rugby section lauded the Kieran Read-led All Blacks as the best team to ever play the game.

A poll in the Telegraph asked readers if the All Blacks were the greatest side in the code's history - and 85 per cent of reader responses said they were.

The rankings margin back to second-placed England of 7.08 points is also the biggest lead ever held.

It follows the All Blacks' dominant 3-0 home sweep of Wales and an unchallenged romp through the Rugby Championship.

Currently on a world record 17-Test winning run, the All Blacks haven't budged from top spot since claiming it from the Springboks seven years ago, a period which has encompassed two World Cup wins.

South Africa's recent woes are reflected in a drop to fourth behind Australia. Argentina fall to ninth after finishing last in the Rugby Championship, having notched just one win.

Top ten rankings: 1 New Zealand; 2, England; 3 Australia; 4 South Africa; 5 Wales; 6 Ireland; 7 France; 8 Scotland; 9 Argentina; 10 Fiji

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