Springboks

Woodward: Only 3 teams can win 2019 RWC

Clive Woodward (File)
Clive Woodward (File)

Cape Town - Former England coach Clive Woodward believes there are only three teams that can win the 2019 Rugby World Cup ... and South Africa is not one of them. 

Woodward coached a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired England to World Cup glory in the 2003 edition of the tournament in Australia, 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. 

The 61-year-old wrote that part of South Africa's struggles were down to the fact that they could not pick their strongest side. 

"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."

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