New Zealand coach Graham Henry has tipped Wales as the likeliest northern hemisphere threat to the Tri-Nations teams' 2011 World Cup hopes.
Wales ran South Africa close, led the All Blacks at half-time and beat Australia in the November Test series.
"It is a bit cyclic and I don't think either hemisphere can lull in a false sense of security," said Henry, whose own team completed a tour grand slam.
"And I think the Welsh are playing particularly well."
Henry added: "They play an expansive game and they've got good athletes across the pitch, forwards who can pass and catch and beat people.
"So I guess they're the yardstick in this part of the world at the moment."