Former Ireland international Alan Quinlan does not expect England to have a successful World Cup

Steve Borthwick took over as England's head coach this year
Steve Borthwick took over as England's head coach this year

Former Ireland and Munster back-row Alan Quinlan believes England will struggle to make an impact in the upcoming Rugby World Cup campaign.

The Rugby Football Union decided to replace Eddie Jones with Steve Borthwick as the head coach at the start of the year.

However, former Leicester boss had a tough start to his campaign with England finishing fifth in the Six Nations tournament and were defeated by the Wales in the warm-up game in Cardiff before securing a win against Warren Gatland's men with a 19-17 margin at Twickenham Stadium.

Speaking to Quinlan, who played 27 Tests for Ireland and over 200 games for Munster said England are lagging behind as compared to top teams like Ireland.

"Unless they find something out of the ordinary they are not going to have a successful World Cup.

"The rugby World Cup cycle has been badly managed and run on so many levels by England and this England side has hit a brick wall for the last two years.

"Ireland are 15-20 points better than England. England have dished up two very average performances against Wales. They will get better but need to and quickly. Ireland will have far too much for England in Dublin.

"It is difficult to watch England and if you want to try and challenge you have got to be brave.

"There are very good players in the England squad. But the game plan and the way they play is drab. It doesn’t mean they will be an easy touch and if they eliminate mistakes they can win big games. But it is so poor at the moment.

"The coaches need to take hold of this and change things up and work on improvements."

The 49-year-old also expressed shock on England captain Owen Farrell escaping a ban for his high tackle on Wales' Taine Basham after his red card was overturned by the independent disciplinary committee.

"I am pretty shocked. I think there will be a real backlash to this. I am sure he is very relieved, as is England. It is a total contradiction, what the panel is saying, what the TMO was saying and what the pictures are showing.

"But it is what it is. It is a boost for England. As I've said before Owen isn't a dirty player, he is aggressive and physical, but he has got to be very careful going forward on the type of tackles he is putting in. He has to go much lower. The upright tackles have got to be eradicated from the game and that's the whole reason they are being scrutinised so much.

"It has cropped up again. It is a real issue. It was really grim. This is a flaw in his game and will cause England a problem just at the time they need togetherness. Owen has never shirked away from physical challenges. It is the bloodline from his Dad, hard as nails."