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Rugby World Cup Mike Tindall backs England to make final

Former England centre Mike Tindall has backed Stuart Lancaster's men to reach the Rugby World Cup final, while he reckons George Ford will be the breakout star.

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Mike Tindall backs England to make Rugby World Cup final play

Mike Tindall backs England to make Rugby World Cup final

(Omni Sports)

Former England centre Mike Tindall has backed Stuart Lancaster's men to reach the Rugby World Cup final, while he reckons George Ford will be the breakout star.

The tournament hosts have been placed in a tough pool alongside Wales and Australia, plus Fiji and Uruguay, but Tindall has predicted England will ride a wave of home support to reach the final at Twickenham, where he believes they will face defending champions New Zealand on October 31.

With just under a month until the World Cup begins, Tindall is pleased with the job coach Lancaster is doing to improve on England's quarter-final exit four years ago.

"I think England are in a really good place going into the World Cup," Tindall told Omnisport.

"Looking at how they played in the Six Nations, there's a few areas to work in but ultimately, they're a top-four team in the world and I'm hoping that they'll be in the final and probably be against New Zealand and we'll see what happens then."

Tindall, who played 75 Tests for his country and was part of their World Cup-winning side in 2003, reckons Lancaster has a player in Ford, who could dominate rugby's premier event.

Ford is already highly-rated in rugby circles after being crowned the Aviva Premiership's player of the season in his second year with Bath.

But the 22-year-old fly-half - who has just 11 caps to his name - could become a star across the entire sporting spectrum, according to Tindall.

"If he [Ford] keeps developing the way he is, he could be a real star for the World Cup," the 36-year-old said.

Tindall was a big fan of Bath's 2014-15 Premiership campaign where they finished second, and he reckons their centre Jonathan Joseph deserves to lock down one of the spots in England's midfield when they start the World Cup against Fiji on September 18.

Lancaster has seemingly been struggling to settle on his best pairing out of Joseph, his Bath team-mate Sam Burgess, Brad Barritt of Saracens, Northampton's Luther Burrell and Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees.

"We've gone from an area where people said there was no-one who could play [there]; to suddenly we've got an area where there's a lot of people who can play there," Tindall said.

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