All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster believes South Africa are still a force to be reckoned with after being drawn in the same pool.
The draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be played in Japan was made on Wednesday and New Zealand were drawn in Group B alongside South Africa and Italy.
The Springboks endured a disappointing 2016 season which saw them drop to seventh place in the World rankings.
However, Foster is not underestimating the Boks and believes the fact that they can select overseas-based players for the tournament makes them an altogether different proposition.
"You really want to go there and have someone in your pool that you're on edge about," Foster told TVNZ.
"It creates a lot of anxiety within the squad, and I think having South Africa there's going to be fantastic.
"They can pick anyone from around the world, so it's going to be a very different team that we face.
"We're pretty delighted with the pool. It's great having a really hard game that everyone's going to look forward to,and we know Italy well, so it's making sure we have a bit of an edge going over there."