Rugby: Daunting Rugby Championship schedule will benefit All Blacks for 2023 Rugby World Cup, says Ian Foster

The All Blacks' gruelling Rugby Championship schedule will hold the side in good stead for the 2023 World Cup in France, coach Ian Foster believes.

Tasked with playing five tests in five weeks, the All Blacks' taxing schedule finally took its toll on Saturday night - as Foster's side fell 31-29 to South Africa on the Gold Coast for their first defeat of 2021.

But despite the disappointment of seeing their winning streak ended at nine tests for 2021, the All Blacks comfortably boasted the best record among the southern hemisphere sides to win the Rugby Championship with a game to spare.

While playing five tests in five weeks is an unenviable challenge for any side in world rugby, the experience is nearly identical - if not more demanding - than that of a Rugby World Cup.

And with that experience neatly tucked away alongside the Rugby Championship trophy, Foster is confident that the lessons of the last five weeks will benefit his side come France 2023.

"Have we learned anything that will hold us in [good] stead for 2023? Yep, I think so," Foster says.

"We've spent good time together, we've learned how to manage the ups and downs of different schedules, different travel routines that we normally have."

However, France 2023 is still two years away, with the All Blacks facing plenty more challenges in the time being.

Foster's side will next travel to the US, where they'll face the United States Eagles in Washington on October 24, before moving on to Europe to face Italy, Wales, Ireland and France.

"Now we're looking forward to going on the northern hemisphere tour, we're going to play some different teams that we haven't played for a couple of years," Foster says.

"There are some great learning moments for us, but at the same time with us, we want to go out there and win.

"One way to get ready for a World Cup is to build confidence through building your game and winning big games. That's where tonight will be gold for us."