French international Thomas Castaignede believes no team in world rugby is even close New Zealand in all facets of the game.
Writing a column for The Guardian newspaper he said rugby was “now divided into two worlds: the All Blacks and everyone else”.
France, the world’s No 2 ranked team, were blow away by the All Blacks in Lyon on Saturday.
“I don’t think I can remember there being a gap of this extent between one nation and the rest in international rugby.
“It was like watching a senior team play against juniors in Lyon,” wrote Castaignede, who may well have been playing in that match if he wasn’t injured.
“Physically, the All Blacks are superior, but their domination goes way beyond that. What they have is a different quality to their game, a different way of reading the game, and supreme skills with the ball in hand… they are getting close to perfection.”
He believes they are a certainty for the final of the World Cup and added that other teams have to learn from South Africa’s victory over them in the Vodacom Tri-Nations in September to stand a chance of beating them.
“This All Blacks side is so good that the question will be: who can get to the final and beat them? Sides will have to work out how, and the starting point will have to be South Africa’s victory in the Tri Nations.
“You can hope they have an off-day, but their strength in depth is so great that injuries won’t make a lot of difference. Of the squad of about 40 players, maybe 30 are among the best in their respective positions in the world,” Castaignede wrote.