RANKINGS: The best sides on the planet in 2017
Rugby analysis website Rugby Vision have released their list of the 58 best 'club' sides in the world for 2017 - according to statistics.
Although they call it 'club' sides, it is, in fact, a collection of clubs, provinces and franchises.
The rankings include teams from Super Rugby, the English Premiership, the Pro14 and even one from the Russian Premiership.
According to Rugby Vision “The rankings only include games (so far) from the 2017-18 season (details buried at the bottom of the table). The rankings account for opposition strength, but a team can gain rating points by beating a weak team by more than expected (with diminishing returns).”
The rankings, which act not unlike a quasi-club version of World Rugby international World Rankings have been calculated since the start of the 2017/2018 season, and have been made possible by the inclusion of the Cheetahs and the Kings in the Pro14.
New Zealand Super Rugby franchises dominate the top the ranking, following by a number of Pro14 sides, while the Premiership first entry is not until Exeter and Saracens in seventh and eighth place respectively.
The Top 14 don’t feature in the ranking 14th place, with La Rochelle leading the French sides.
Constructed by a MIT economist, Rugby Vision (RV) is a suite of statistical models that predict outcomes for major rugby competitions. According to the website “For each game, RV calculates the expected score margin and the probability of each team winning. RV also calculates the probability of each team obtaining various milestones in a tournament.”