Wales interim head coach Rob Howley said the chance of his side securing a top four world ranking is "a large incentive" heading into Saturday's 2017 Six Nations finale against France.
Victory for Wales in Paris - and an England victory over Ireland - would lift Wales into fourth spot ahead of May's 2019 World Cup pool draw.
Such a scenario means they would be likely to avoid a so-called pool of death, which they encountered in 2015 after being grouped alongside England and Australia.
Wales bounced back from back-to-back defeats to beat Ireland 22-9 in Cardiff last Friday and Howley hoping for a similar performance.
Wales have won their last five encounters against France - their last loss to Les Bleus came in the 2011 World Cup semi-final - and Howley has retained the team that accounted for Ireland.
France pushed England and Ireland close, while also beating Scotland and Italy, and Howley is aware of the threat they will pose.
Howley paid tribute to Wales hooker Ken Owens, who wins his 50th cap this weekend and is unquestionably a major contender to make this summer's British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.
Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones, who will become the first Welshman to start 100 Tests for his country on Saturday, is braced to face a French team "of old."