Rugby: All Blacks' world No.1 ranking means nothing without beating South Africa, insist Ian Foster and Ardie Savea

The All Blacks won't consider themselves the world's best side, until they beat reigning world champions South Africa, insist captain Ardie Savea and coach Ian Foster.

Fresh from the 36-13 victory over Argentina in Brisbane - and the Springboks' second consecutive loss to Australia - New Zealand are now World Rugby's top-ranked side, 

Foster's side needed to beat Argentina by 15 points or more to retake the top spot, achieving that and more in another impressive victory over Los Pumas.

The results see the All Blacks leapfrog South Africa into the position of world No.1, setting up an intriguing 100th clash between the two sides at Townsville next week.

But despite taking the arbitrary top ranking, the All Blacks aren't getting carried away with where they are, captain Savea outlines.

"I wasn't even thinking about that," Savea says of his side's new world ranking. "It got mentioned after in the post-match interview.

"My mindset is you've got to beat No.1 to be No.1. We'll enjoy tonight and then refocus next week."

Coach Foster concurs with his captain and insists the All Blacks are more concerned with facing South Africa next week than any accolades received from victory on Saturday.

The All Blacks face South Africa twice in as many weeks, at Townsville next week and again on the Gold Coast on October 2.

"To be fair, it's not in our minds at all," Foster says.  "I'm not trying to just say that to downplay it.

"We're about to play South Africa next week - we'll get excited about that. We're more interested in playing a test match than where we sit.

"If we focus too much on the other thing, we'll get tripped up and we won't be there for very long. That doesn't interest us either."

Foster expects South Africa will raise their game to face the All Blacks, despite two straight defeats to the Wallabies.

Under the new coaching regime of coach Jacques Nienaber, the reigning world champions have looked far from their best in 2021 and have drawn criticism for their conservative game plans.

But Foster has faced South Africa enough over his nine-year stint with the All Blacks to know that the Springboks will be ready.

"It'll be a torrid game, they always are," Foster adds. "I saw enough of that game - I saw about 50 odd minutes of it - to know what's coming.

"It's probably that the South Africans have played against a team that plays with a lot of tempo in the last two years.

"We've got to remember they've been out in a bit of a wilderness last year. I think they'll learn a lot out of that. 

"We'll just focus on this one tonight [and] worry about South Africa tomorrow, but All Blacks-South Africa games are always pretty special."

Join us at 7pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v South Africa Rugby Championship clash