Rugby World Cup 2015: France loss will not affect England - Jones

France celebrate their 25-20 win over England in Paris
England play the opening game of the World Cup against Fiji on 18 September
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones does not expect England's 25-20 defeat by France to have any bearing on their World Cup form.

Stuart Lancaster's team face Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay in the tournament, starting on 18 September.

Jones says it would be dangerous to read too much into the result in Paris.

"England were no great shakes against France, but I don't think that's a true reflection on where they are as a group," he said.

"I don't think it's going to have any bearing whatsoever on what happens in three weeks' time when they kick off, and it'll certainly have no bearing on what happens [when England play Wales] on 26 September either."

England's pack are put under pressure by France in Paris
England's set-piece has been put under pressure by France in their two World Cup warm-up matches in August

England's set-piece problems

England's pack struggled in their first warm-up game - a 19-14 win over France the previous week - and were again dominated by the French in Paris.

Jones admitted that surprised him, but expects England to have their set-piece firing by the time they kick off against Fiji.

"I thought it was going to be a massive strength of theirs - the set-piece always has been.

"But I'd put my money on it being a strength of theirs come World Cup time.

"England looked fit first and foremost, so that's in the bank for them.

"And it doesn't take long for guys of their ability to polish up their skills and get those little groups and continuities going with individuals as selection settles down.

"I think they'll still be good favourites for the World Cup."

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Impressive Ireland deny Wales

It's getting serious for Wales

Wales play their second warm-up game in Ireland on 29 August, having lost 35-21 in their opening warm-up game against the same team on 8 August in Cardiff.

Jones, who announced his retirement from rugby last week, says he expects a very different Wales team to travel to Dublin.

Coach Warren Gatland will then name his final 31-man squad for the tournament on Monday, 31 August.

"I think the first round was almost a game of discovery, it was an opportunity for some guys to cement their places, or for Warren to have a look at guys in a full Millennium Stadium against good opposition," said Jones.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Twickenham Stadium

"But that's gone now. I'll imagine they'll go to Ireland fully loaded with what he perceives as his starting XV.

"It would be good to get a victory because confidence is a big thing.

"First and foremost, a win will allow the players to grow and might give them a bit of breathing space from the media, which is always nice internally in the group.

"And it will allow them to bank that and look solely forward to the World Cup."

James Hook runs into unyielding Ireland defence
James Hook's involvement with Wales' training camp ended after the defeat against Ireland in August

Who will make the final cut?

There are 38 players in the Wales training squad, so seven will be cut when Gatland announces his final squad.

The first cut from 46 saw British and Irish Lions Richard Hibbard, Mike Phillips and James Hook dropped.

Jones believes Gatland will already have a clear picture over the vast bulk of his World Cup party.

"There's only a question over one or two," he added. "How players conduct themselves is important.

"World Cups are a huge period of stress for the team as well, so you've got to make sure the relationships are good off-field as well as they are on-field.

"He'll certainly see that from training - especially the intensity they train at. And having played against the Ospreys in the week, he'll know the guys that are on form and those that aren't."

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