Australia’s capture of the 2011 Rugby League Four Nations crown has seen them strengthen their position at the head of the official world rankings, which have been updated following the completion of the tournament.

The Kangaroos defeated England 30-8 in front of a sell out crowd at Elland Road, Leeds but by making the decider Steve McNamara’s men have closed the gap on second placed New Zealand in the run up to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Wales, after their debut in the Four Nations, have moved up to sixth but the gap between them Papua New Guinea and France above them is now less than 15 ranking points.

Of the 14 nations to secure a place in the World Cup, 13 are in the top 14 positions with only the Cook Islands outside by virtue of their match with New Zealand in early autumn being postponed.

USA and Italy, who were the final two World Cup qualifiers, have each move up two places as a result.

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD RANKINGS
As at 20th November 2011

1 Australia 1406.59
2 New Zealand 991.56
3 England 799.47
4 Papua New Guinea 260.49
5 France 246.08
6 Wales 245.16
7 Fiji 145.35
8 Samoa 123.19
9 Tonga 82.07
10 Scotland 75.39
11 USA 65.86
12 Ireland 64.28
13 Italy 55.28
14 Lebanon 52.42
15 Serbia 46.14
16 Cook Islands 42.32
17 Russia 39.48
18 Norway 38.22
19 Germany 34.52
20 Malta 26.46
21 Canada 24.21
22 South Africa 23.38
23 Jamaica 20.05
24 Latvia 19.55
25 Ukraine 19.12
26 Czech Republic 14.27
27 Sweden .95