Sir Graham Henry says loss to Springboks will benefit All Blacks

A year from today the 2019 Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan, and former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry believes the team is in a strong position.

Despite last week's loss, the 2011 world cup-winning coach is seeing plenty of positives as the side looks to make it three in a row.

Their defeat to the Springboks in Wellington was just the wake-up call the side needed, said Sir Graham.

"It keeps them on their toes, gets them refocused," said Sir Graham.

"It's all very well talking about it, and talking a big game, but unless you go through those experiences, you don't really get to 100".

The loss to the Boks was a timely reminder the side is beatable.

"This team hasn't had much adversity," said coach Steve Hansen after the loss.

"It will be a massive opportunity for this team to grow if we take the learnings".

Sir Graham is confident there'll be no complacency from a side with an 85 per cent win rate this world cup cycle.

"They're doing their homework and they're hugely experienced, the most experienced side in the world both in players and management."

Henry warns there'll be no shortage of competition for the All Blacks at next year's tournament.

"The Irish are going to be pretty special…and England might come back again, so there'll be some competition there."

Next month, the All Blacks will take on Australia and Japan in two of the stadiums they'll use in the world cup, providing Hansen's men with the perfect dress rehearsal for their attempt at a three-peat.

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