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New rankings a reality check for Kangaroos

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Australia rugby league coach Mal Meninga (pictured) says that dropping to second in the world rankings should serve as a reality check (AAP Image/Chris Pavlich)

Australia rugby league coach Mal Meninga says that dropping to second in the world rankings should serve as a reality check for the Kangaroos.

Meninga's team has been knocked off the top spot by New Zealand in the International Rugby League ratings released on Monday.

Since winning the 2017 World Cup final, Australia have only played four Tests - winning two and losing two.

Their latest outing was a 16-12 loss to Tonga.

The Kiwis have climbed to the summit after their 2-0 series triumph over Great Britain, with England dropping down to third place but still ahead of Tonga.

New Zealand lost three times to England in 2018 but won three of their four Tests in 2019 - losing only to the Kangaroos in Wollongong last month.

However, Meninga says the new rankings are a good thing for the Kangaroos.

"It's done us a world of good really," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"It has given us a reality check around Test match footy, how strong Test match footy is.

"The Kiwis have got a great side, they are pretty impressive.

"They all play in the NRL, they are used to the week in, week out stuff and know what it takes to win footy games."

Australia will embark on a European tour next season during which they will face England and New Zealand.

© AAP 2019