Woodward backs England in 2019

Date published: February 13 2017

Following their win in Wales, Sir Clive Woodward believes that England can head into the 2019 World Cup as favourites under Eddie Jones.

Woodward was impressed with what he saw at the Principality Stadium as the English came from behind to prevail 21-16 thanks to a late try.

It was yet another tick in the box for head coach Jones and his squad as England's winning streak continued going into the Six Nations break.

"Saturday night at the Principality Stadium was the performance and win that convinced me that England under Eddie Jones have it in them to kick on and arrive in Japan in 2019 as the world's number-one ranked team and favourites to win rugby's biggest prize," Woodward said in his Daily Mail column.

"From this point on opposition teams will be obsessing on how to beat England just as much as how to defeat New Zealand."

He added on the turnaround since 2015: "There was always a good chance England would respond positively to the disappointment of the last World Cup and a new coach normally has a galvanising effect but they are now accelerating way beyond that.

"This is a team who always find a way to win – Grand Slams, Test matches in Australia, playing poorly against France, and now at a frenzied Cardiff in a truly great game of rugby.

"That's not to say England were perfect against Wales, far from it. Wales dominated large periods but increasingly I am impressed by England's coolness under fire and how key players are making the right decisions and big plays under pressure. England are doing lots of little things well under extreme pressure.

"That's what I mean by the tipping point. How little things can make a big difference. That's precisely where England are now.

"England, as they did against France, kept their cool under pressure and produced the goods in the final 10 minutes, when so many Test matches are decided."

England return to Six Nations duty against Italy at Twickenham on Sunday, February 26 when they will be looking for a bonus-point victory.