2015 World Cup: England v Wales to decide who joins Australia in quarters, says Davies

Luther Burrell
Luther Burrell
Autumn international: Wales v Australia
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 November 2014 Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV

Wales great Jonathan Davies has tipped Australia to go through from the 2015 World Cup pool that also includes Wales and hosts England.

And the Scrum V pundit says either Wales or England's fate will be decided when they meet in each team's second tournament game on 26 September 2015.

Wales host the Wallabies in Cardiff this Saturday in an autumn Test.

"I think it will come down to England-Wales [at the 2015 World Cup]," said Davies.

"I think Australia will beat either England or Wales so, for me, that'll be the one [Pool A decider]."

Wales great and Scrum V pundit Jonathan Davies
"New Zealand beat everyone every year and they don't [always] win it [the World Cup]."

Davies added: "I think Australia will go through in that group. It would be nice to beat them [on Saturday].

"All the press are saying, 'if you don't win this time, you're never going to win', but I think it will come down to England-Wales."

The tournament sequence in a pool that also includes Fiji and outsiders Uruguay means Wales and England face each other before taking on Australia.

After playing Fiji and Wales, England face the Wallabies on 3 October, before Wales travel to Twickenham to meet the team now coached by Michael Cheika on 10 October.

The games between three of the world's top-10 ranked nations are expected to determine which of them bows out before the knock-out stages, with only two teams advancing to the quarter-finals.

And while Davies says beating Australia for the first time in nine attempts on Saturday in the autumn internationals would be welcome, it is not as crucial for World Cup hopes as some make out.

In a debate on Scrum V Extra Time involving ex-Wales and British and Irish Lions flanker Martyn Williams, the duo agreed on Saturday's clash having no bearing on what lies ahead in 2015.

Williams said Wales' form was poor ahead of their fourth-placed finish at the 2011 tournament won by hosts New Zealand.

Martyn Williams, ex-Wales flanker and Scrum V pundit
"It would be fantastic to beat them; it would be a notch on the belt, but it's [the World Cup] 12 months away and it's so much to go between now and then."

"If you go back to four years ago when Wales got to the semi-finals of the World Cup, their form leading into the World Cup was atrocious," said Williams.

"They lost to the Barbarians, they came fourth, I think, in the Six Nations beforehand; no signs of any form, really.

"[They] scraped through against England at home [in 2011]; but just found momentum and confidence within the [2011 World Cup] tournament.

"There's pros and cons [to beating Australia on Saturday].

"It would be fantastic to beat them; it would be a notch on the belt, but it's [the World Cup] 12 months away and it's so much to go between now and then I think anything could happen."

Davies dismissed the notion that serious World Cup challenges cannot be mounted by teams other than those, such as 2003 winners England, who beat all before them in the build-up to a tournament.

"New Zealand beat everyone every year and they don't [always] win it [the World Cup]," added former dual-code star Davies.

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