Danny Cipriani believes not one Aussie would make England XV and slams Gordon D'Arcy
Danny Cipriani has issued a strong - and arguably ludicrous - statement ahead of England's crucial World Cup match against Australia on Saturday, claiming that "not one" Wallaby player is good enough to get into Stuart Lancaster's side at the moment.
The World Cup hosts go into the match knowing they must win to keep their hopes alive in the tournament after a shock defeat against Wales, while Australia are unbeaten in their two matches against Uruguay and Fiji.
However Cirpriani, who was omitted from Lancaster's final squad, has backed the hosts to triumph at Twickenham.
"England’s players know what they can do and they only just touched the tip of the iceberg against Wales," he said on the Paddy Power blog.
"They didn’t quite put the nail in the coffin, but if it all clicks together on Saturday, Australia won’t have an answer.
"Not one Australian would get into that England team right now.
"The Aussies will be fired up, but when it comes down to it, head-to-head England are too strong.
"England’s defensive structure combined with the attacking weapons they have at their disposal make it hard to see past an England win."
Cipriani also sprung to the defence of Sam Burgess, who has come under fire for his performance in the defeat against Wales.
Burgess has been dropped to the bench for the match against Australia and former Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy described the former rugby league international as "naive" and "embarrassing".
Dismissing D'Arcy's comments, Cipriani said: "Everyone has a role to play in this World Cup – whether it’s the media or former professionals not directly involved in the competition.
"Gordon D’Arcy is never going to give a positive quote on England, and it’s never going to be a fair reflection.
"What he was quoted in the papers as saying isn’t accurate, Sam Burgess wasn’t embarrassing at all in the Wales game. He did a great job at 12 with all the pressure that was put on him. He’ll be disappointed to be dropped this week against Australia, but he’ll bounce back.
"It’s great that D’Arcy is adding fuel to the fire and sparking debate, but you can’t seriously believe that that is what he truly believes? Don’t read into what D’Arcy said, Burgess had a very good game."
Cipriani offered his support to Chris Robshaw as well, after the England captain's decision to kick for the corner in the closing stages against Wales backfired.
"If England had kicked for the corner against Wales at Twickenham and got a try, Chris Robshaw would be called ‘inspirational’ on all the back pages," said Cipriani.
"If England had kicked it over and taken a draw, no doubt people would have criticised them for not going to the corner. Everyone can sit back at home and make a judgement after the event. That’s easy. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
"Robshaw went with his gut, he trusted his instinct and it almost paid off. The decision was challenging, brave and it has to be admired. It was a good decision, despite the three point defeat."
Danny Cipriani was speaking to the Paddy Power Blog