Rugby World Cup 2015: World Cup glory a long way away - O'Connell

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell
Paul O'Connell says the video review of Ireland's defeat by Wales last week did not make good viewing from an Irish perspective
England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 5 September (kick-off 14:30 BST)
Coverage: Live commentary, 14:30 BST, BBC Radio 5 live and Radio Ulster FM, plus live text commentary online. TV highlights, 18:00 BST, BBC One.

Paul O'Connell has conceded that Ireland are "a long, long way away" from winning the Rugby World Cup after last week's defeat to Wales in Dublin.

The Irish captain says the analysis following the 16-10 home reverse laid bare the size of Ireland's challenge in chasing their best-ever World Cup run.

"I'd love to win a World Cup but it's a long, long way away," said O'Connell.

"And I'll tell you, the Monday morning after the Wales game, when we reviewed it, it felt a long way away as well."

Ireland face England at Twickenham on Saturday before opening their Pool D campaign in the World Cup by taking on Canada in Cardiff on September 19.

Ireland's World Cup pool games
Saturday, 19 Sept, 14:30 BST: Ireland v Canada, Millennium Stadium
Sunday, 27 Sept, 16:45 BST: Ireland v Romania, Wembley Stadium
Sunday, 4 Oct, 16:45 BST: Ireland v Italy, Olympic Stadium
Sunday, 11 Oct, 16:45 BST: Ireland v France, Millennium Stadium

"I think the week after you lose you wonder almost why you're playing any more, and Monday was tough.

"After the Scotland game I thought we were going to put a whole lot of things right - unfortunately we didn't and you just find out a lot about how far you have to go.

"So we need to get those things right this weekend and start building now, so winning the World Cup, it would be great but it's very much not at the forefront of my mind."

Ireland sit second in the world rankings thanks to two consecutive Six Nations titles, and hopes are high that head coach Joe Schmidt's men can reach the semi-finals for the first time.

Wales coach Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland's Wales beat Ireland in Dublin last weekend

Wales coach Warren Gatland was at his mischievous best in midweek, claiming neither England nor Ireland can afford to arrive at the World Cup off the back of two straight Test defeats.

One of Saturday's sides are almost certain to do exactly that, after England lost 25-20 in Paris and Ireland slipped up to Wales.

Former Ireland coach Gatland's cute comments were not lost on O'Connell - but the skipper refused to be drawn into the war of words.

"I didn't hear what he said but he's entitled to his opinion," said O'Connell when quizzed on Gatland's comments.

Win would provide World Cup boost

"You'd love to go into the World Cup having won, but if you don't win, you just deal with it and get on with it.

"From our point of view, it's about putting together certain things that help us play well.

"We recognise those when we lose and we recognise those when we haven't done them when we win as well.

"I think even in that Scotland game, there would have been a whole lot of things we would have loved to have done better as well even though we came out the right side of the result."

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