This is the best All Blacks team ever - Sir Graham Henry

The 2018 All Blacks are the best New Zealand team in history - that's the opinion of former World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry.

On Wednesday, Henry told The AM show that the depth of the current crop of All Blacks had seen them raise the bar to unprecedented levels, citing the spoils on offer at number 10 as a prime example.

"I think it's probably the greatest All Blacks team ever, right now," said Sir Graham.

"I just think they've got the depth. Look at the five-eighths, you’ve got three guys there that are probably as good as anybody in the world.

"I think they're in good shape, but they’ve also got their feet on the ground. They're not complacent, they realise they've got to get better and they're striving to do that."

In recent weeks, public debate has raged over the pecking order among Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett, but Sir Graham has no doubts who should be the side's starting pivot.

"Obviously, you start with Barrett… he's been named the best player in the world. It's just media stirring it up for something to talk about.

"The other guys just need to bide their time, they'll get there."

That depth has Sir Graham ranking Hansen's squad as superior to the one he lead to World Cup glory in 2011, which included the likes of All Black demi-gods Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

"They are, for sure," he replied when quizzed on the matter. "Look at the competition for places - there are great players missing out.

"Look at Sopoaga, he's gone overseas. He's probably in the top six five-eighths in the world."

The 72-year-old also took the opportunity to weigh in on the international outlook for Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.

After heaping praise on his former assistant, now All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, Sir Graham suggested Robertson's eccentricity represented exactly the kind of personality the game needed.

"Diversity is fabulous," Henry noted. "We need different characters and he's a character.

"He's obviously the energiser for the Crusaders, as well as having ability to coach. The guys are just fuelled by him being there."

As for the 2019 World Cup, Henry believes the All Blacks have "every chance" of recording an historic 'three-peat'.

So, who shapes as their biggest obstacle to achieving that?

"I think Ireland will be the competition. I think an Irish/All Blacks final will be on the cards."