The 2023 Rugby World Cup draw is revealed in Paris in the early hours of tomorrow (0030hrs to be exact).
The original plan was to use the World Rugby rankings following the end of year tours this season but Covid-19 meant some teams like South Africa and Japan didn't play a test in 2020.
So instead, the seedings are based off the world rankings as of January 1 this year.
That means South Africa, New Zealand, England and Wales form Band one as the top seeds across the four pools.
Wales are the big winners of this decision as they currently sit ninth in the world rankings which would have seen them in Band three.
The seedings set-up some interesting prospects to land in the All Blacks' group in France.
Here's a look at the potential opponents.
Probably the most intriguing of the four options for rugby neutrals but the least desirable for All Blacks fans considering the two sides face off so often. The Bledisloe Cup rivals however have never met in pool play. Their four previous meetings at the World Cup have either been at the semifinal or final stage, the last being the 2015 final. The two sides have never played each other in France. Currently ranked sixth in the world.
Ireland became a thorn in Steve Hansen's side in the three years leading up to the 2019 World Cup with victories in 2016 and 2018 before the All Blacks beat them 46-14 in the 2019 quarters. The All Blacks and Ireland have only met once in pool play - in 1995 which saw the introduction of Jonah Lomu to the World Cup when he scored a double in a 43-19 thrashing. Surprisingly last year's quarterfinal meeting was just the second World Cup clash between the two nations. Currently ranked fifth in the world.
Having the All Blacks and the hosts in the same pool would no doubt be the preferable option for World Rugby. France were in the All Blacks pool at the 2011 World Cup before the two sides met again in the final. Overall the All Blacks have played France seven times at the World Cup, the most of any nation, with five wins and two defeats. Currently ranked fourth in the world.
Without home advantage at the next World Cup, and yet to record a win over the All Blacks, Japan are they obvious weaker option of the four. It also proves a mockery of basing the World Cup seeds on the previous tournament as it means the recent hosts get an advantage at the following World Cup as well. 1995 and 2011 were the two previous occasions that Japan and the All Blacks have been drawn in the same pool. It is also the only two matches they've played at the World Cup. Currently ranked 10th in the world.
New Zealand and Scotland have been drawn in the same pool just once which was in 2007 when the Scots played a weakened lineup in a 40-0 defeat at Edinburgh to prepare for a vital pool game against Italy six days later. Previously the Scots had a knack of being knocked out by the All Blacks, losing quarter-finals in 1987, 1995 and 1999. They haven't met at the World Cup since the 2007 thrashing and only had one test in the last World Cup cycle where Scotland went close to ending their drought. Currently ranked seventh in the world.
Much like the Wallabies, Rugby Championship rivals Argentina fall into the 'we don't need to see this clash again' category. Argentina did provide a strong challenge in their 2015 World Cup pool game at Wembley, just the second time they have drawn in the All Blacks' group with the first coming in 1987, and of course finally broke their win drought in Paramatta last month. Currently ranked eighth in the world.
It would be nice to see the All Blacks play a Pacific nation in pool play that isn't Tonga, who they have shared the same pool five times now. The All Blacks haven't played Fiji at the World Cup since 1987 and have never played Samoa, who could come out of band three or four. The All Blacks last played Fiji in 2011, a 60-14 win in Dunedin, and have played just three times since 2000. Currently ranked 11th in the world.
It just wouldn't be a World Cup without Italy and the All Blacks being drawn in the same pool. It's happened in 1987, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2019. Unfortunately, last year's poolplay clash didn't go ahead due to the threat of Typhoon Hagibis. The closest Italy have ever gotten to beating the All Blacks was the 31-21 defeat at Leicester's Welford Road Stadium in 1991. Currently ranked 14th in the world.
Likely to be either Tonga (ranked 13th) or Samoa (ranked 15th). As mentioned Tonga have made a regular thing of being in the All Blacks pool while Samoa have never been in the same group as New Zealand.
Georgia would have to be odds on favourites to earn the Europe 1 qualifying spot again and are currently ranked two spots of Italy who have already qualified. The Georgians were in the All Blacks group in 2015, going down 43-10. Always provide a good challenge for the forward pack.
The usual tussle between USA (ranked 16th) and Canada (23rd) around which side will be Americas 1 or Americas 2. It would be nice to see an All Blacks v USA clash since it's only happened at the World Cup once and that was back in 1991.
Will be decided from a playoff game between between Asia 1 and Oceania 2. With Japan alreadu qualified that opens up a chance for Hong Kong who would need to beat Tonga or Samoa for this spot. So maybe chalk in another pacific nation here.
Namibia has been Africa 1 since 1999 and have been drawn in the All Blacks' pool the last two tournaments.
Russia held this spot in 2019 but Spain, Romania and Portugal are all ranked higher so anyone's guess as to which nation will be the eighth to represent Europe.
Most likely Canada who the All Blacks easily defeated in pool play last year.
Final Qualifier Winner
It would be nice to see a Hong Kong, Kenya or Brazil to get this spot and make a maiden appearance but more likely it will be a European castoff.
What we'd like to see
A strong pool to test the All Blacks with at least one Pacific side:
What we don't want to see
A Tri Nations repeat/seen it all before.