However, despite their position as the number one side in the world and the fact that the All Blacks have lost a number of key players to European rugby, as well as captain Richie McCaw to injury, de Villiers knows the Springboks face one of the toughest challenges in the world game.
"We have tremendous respect for the All Blacks and what they have achieved during the past few years," said de Villiers, who will be taking charge for his first Tri Nations. "It will be foolish of anyone to come to New Zealand and claim that the All Blacks are there for the taking as many would suggest.
South Africa begin the Tri Nations by taking on New Zealand in Wellington this Saturday (kick off 8.35am BST), before facing the same opposition in Dunedin exactly a week later.
For all the news and reports on South Africa's involvement in the Tri Nations, stay logged on to www.lionsrugby.com