Former England coach Clive Woodward believes there are only three teams that can win the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Woodward coached a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired England to World Cup glory in 2003, and writing in his regular column for the Daily Mail, he said that he was starting to worry about the state of international rugby.
According to Woodward, only New Zealand, England and Ireland possess the goods to challenge for honours in Japan next year.
“These autumn internationals now seem to just come and go. Argentina are in retreat, South Africa are unable to pick their strongest side, Australia often look tired and are resting players such as Israel Folau and David Pocock which only leaves New Zealand,” he wrote.
“Powerhouse nations like the Springboks and France are declining badly and nobody is coming through to replace them or, in the case of Georgia, being allowed to come through.
“Currently it seems only three countries can realistically lay claims to having what it takes to win a World Cup – New Zealand, England and Ireland. That is a disaster for rugby and little different from the Rugby League World Cup.”