Ex-All Blacks star, Carlos Spencer, believes the current New Zealand team have benefited from a lack of genuine competition during their incredible run.
Steve Hansen’s team defied pundits giving rugby tips online by becoming the first nation to enjoy a “perfect year” in the professional era after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in Ireland last weekend.
The come-from-behind 24-22 win was New Zealand’s 14th in as many games in 2013. The All Blacks lost just one match last year, winning 12 and drawing one.
Throw in New Zealand’s 2011 World Cup triumph on home soil and they have been pretty much unbeatable in recent years.
Spencer, who made 35 international appearances, acknowledged the talent of the All Blacks but suggested we will never know just how great they are because of the current strength of the Test game.
“I don’t want to take anything away from what New Zealand have achieved,” the former fly-half told Gulf News. “But three or four years ago Ireland would never have let the All Blacks come back and win that match. It just goes to show where world rugby is at the moment.
“Australia are nowhere near the force they were, the same as Wales and France. Apart from England and South Africa, no-one else excites me.”
Spencer questioned whether too much Test rugby is being played and wants the sport to do more to ensure spectators are getting value for money and do not drift away.
“It just doesn’t look like anyone is that excited to play Test rugby anymore,” added Spencer.
“The competition needs to change to put bums back on seats and make it more exciting, because at the moment I think people are getting just a bit bored of it all.”
The latest betting odds suggest that New Zealand will extend their winning run when they return to Test duty against England next June.