Celebration time. The All Blacks have set yet another record mark, becoming the first team to hold the world number one ranking for a total of 10 years.

While the World Cup ventures have not always turned out as hoped, their dominance of rugby is about as complete as possible by the IRB's ranking formula.

The All Blacks are zooming further and further ahead of the pack and the gap back to number two ranked South Africa is far bigger than that between the Springboks and sixth placed Wales.

Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry are expecting a close match at Ellis Park as both the Springboks and All Blacks trek to play in the Republic early Sunday morning NZ time.

The All Blacks are exhibiting a ranking dominance rarely matched in history, especially in team sports. In modern times, they are closest to emulating golfer Tiger Woods who has been the world number one for a total of 13 years.


The rugby ranking system was instituted by the IRB just before the 2003 World Cup. It didn't start as it meant to go on because England were the first number one 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 number two. South Africa is the only other country to hold the number one spot which they last held in 2009, when the current All Black reign began.

Over that time the All Blacks have played 73 tests, losing twice each to Australia and South Africa, once to England, while also "suffering" two draws against their trans-Tasman rivals.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen comments on the team's weaknesses during the Argentina v New Zealand rugby game, particularly during the lineout drive, and touches on what his side can improve on in the upcoming match against South Africa.

All Blacks fullback Ben Smith made his debut against Italy two days after New Zealand re-gained the number one spot, meaning the side have held the top ranking during all of his 38 test appearances.

IRB rankings
1 - New Zealand - 93.70
2 - South Africa - 87.00
3 - Ireland - 85.76
4 - England - 85.40
5 - Australia - 84.18
6 - Wales - 84.07
7 - France - 79.74
8 - Argentina - 78.23
9 - Samoa - 75.91
10 - Fiji - 75.22

All Blacks record since becoming number one in 2009










Winning %:


12 wins over Australia
9 wins over South Africa
7 wins over France and England
Unbeaten 36 wins at home
1 Rugby World Cup
3 Rugby Championships
1 Tri Nations

Longest consecutive months on top