Forwards coach Graham Rowntree insists England “can win the World Cup” as he prepares the side for the final warm-up game against Ireland.
Rowntree was speaking ahead of England’s match against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday and following comments by Rob Andrew that the squad might not be experienced enough to go on to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
“Rob has been a great supporter of us, this current team” said Rowntree.
“Yes, we can win the World Cup, we firmly believe we can with this squad of players.
“But you can’t deny that they will get better with experience, it’s a simple as that.
“We know we have a group of players that can win the World Cup.”
But what the squad may lack in numbers of caps they more than make up in their bold play.
“They are fearless,” added Leicester Tigers front row legend Rowntree.
“We saw that in our French game - the tries our wingers scored were exceptional.
“They are a young, fearless group of players, multi-skilled and great to work with.
“Hopefully they’ll produce that against Ireland tomorrow.”
England go into the match on the back of six straight wins at Twickenham and they will meet Fiji in the RWC opener on Friday, September 18.
“For us, tomorrow is not our final warm-up game, it’s our first World Cup game,” added Rowntree in an interview with Sky Sports News.
“I said to the boys on Tuesday, 1st of September is a new month, a new start. August was a tough month for us on many fronts.
“Mentally and physically it was tough for the lads.
“But they’ve trained well this week and we’re looking forward to a big game against Ireland.
“I can’t stress enough, this is the start of our World Cup.”
England have brought in the experienced Geoff Parling into the second row, the Stockton-born forward teaming up with Courtney Lawes at lock.