Giteau: ‘England are favourites’

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Australia back Matt Giteau has labelled England as "favourites" to win Pool A in this year's Rugby World Cup.

Billed as the tournament's "group of death" given that England and Australia are joined by Wales, predicting which two teams will advance to the quarter-finals has been a hot topic of discussion all year.

Giteau spoke in detail about the cases to back England and Wales to qualify and the threats each side will pose the Wallabies over the next few weeks.

"You'd have to say England are the favourites in that group," Giteau told the Independent.

"At Twickenham, their record speaks for itself. That's where they play some great rugby. They've got a good record against Wales and Australia at Twickenham.

"The styles they showed in the Six Nations, both England and Wales, the variety to their game that no one expected. They gave players like Jonathan Joseph and George Ford an opportunity and they've come on in leaps and bounds. They're players Australia haven't really had an opportunity to play against.

"And to see Wales, the way they built throughout the Six Nations, that was scary for Australia. You can see them getting better and better going into the World Cup.

"Looking at the Six Nations, how close it was, the style of rugby that they played, and that was through the winter… when you play them in dry conditions they're going to be even better.

"But on the flipside, Australia hasn't been beaten comprehensively by England in a long time, so you only need change one or two things and the result could go the other way."