The All Blacks could be grouped with fellow 2015 World Cup semi-finalists South Africa and Argentina when the draw for the 2019 World Cup is made next year.
The cut off for group seedings is May but South Africa and Argentina look unlikely to move up from their current world rankings of fifth and ninth respectively as they won't play any tests before then.
They will be watching the Six Nations results closely with defeats to the likes of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France possibly deciding their fates.
The Springboks needed a victory over Wales on Sunday to have any chance of moving into the top four in the world rankings but were handed their eighth defeat in 12 tests this year. Argentina were meanwhile defeated by England at Twickenham on Sunday.
The latest world rankings will be released tonight but South Africa and Argentina won't be moving up from their current positions.
As it stands it would mean South Africa will be in the second tier of teams for the draw and Argentina in the third tier.
The top four nations - New Zealand, England, Australia and Ireland - could possibly draw both Rugby Championship teams who played in the bronze medal game last year.
How it works
The top four teams (currently New Zealand, England, Australia and Ireland) make up Pot 1 and are drawn into separate pools for the Rugby World Cup.
The teams ranked 5th-8th make up Pot 2 are then drawn into separate pools followed by the next ranked qualified teams that make up Pots 3, 4 and 5.