Australia coach Eddie Jones maintains his side still have what it takes to win the next World Cup – despite seeing the Wallabies slump to another defeat on their European tour.
Jones’ team were beaten 24-22 by Wales on Saturday night – their first defeat to the Welsh since 1987 – to make it three defeats in four on their tour, and extend their run of poor form to just one win in their last nine matches.
However, despite the increasing pressure on him after their recent results, Jones remains adamant that his side can triumph in the World Cup when it is held in France in 2007.
Jones said: "I can say it now, we’ve got the nucleus to win the World Cup.
"We obviously have to get stronger in areas but we can play the sort of rugby that can win games against the best sides.
"I’ve got full confidence in that but we definitely have to develop players. Up front we have to develop a good serviceable scrum.
"I thought our lineout on the tour has progressed but we definitely need to get better in the driving play."
Jones admitted it would take a lot of work to correct the mistakes that have seen the team slump to one of its darkest periods in decades.
But the coach was able to draw positives out some of the games they have played in Europe and believes if these are targeted and worked on, the results will follow soon after.
"It’s going to take a lot of work to make our scrum better but the side will develop well over the next 18 months. By France 2007 we’ll have a very good side.
"You saw the sort of rugby we can play. We held the ball very well and we made plenty of line-breaks."