Rugby World Cup: Ireland 'can beat anyone' but England will win - Mark McCall

Mark McCall lifts the European Champions Cup trophy
Mark McCall has won three European Cups and five English Premiership titles since joining Saracens in the 2009/10 season
2019 Rugby World Cup
Hosts: Japan Dates: 20 September to 2 November
Coverage: Full commentary on every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall feels that Ireland "can beat anyone on their day" but has tipped England to win the World Cup in Japan.

McCall, who played for Ulster and Ireland, feels that England's strength in depth will make Eddie Jones' side the team to beat.

"They look the strongest overall and they can withstand a few injuries," said McCall.

"But I think there are a few teams who will have something to say about that."

"If Ireland get to the quarter-finals then they are capable of beating anybody on their day.

"That's what's most intriguing about this World Cup, there are several teams who are capable of winning it."

Joe Cokanasiga
England beat Ireland in the opening World Cup warm-up fixture for Joe Schmidt's side

McCall, who has been at the English Premiership club since 2009, says that he wants his players to enjoy the World Cup experience.

"You want your players to go and play in these kinds of tournaments," added McCall. " I think we have 15 players away overall.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of people and we want our players to experience that.

"We have a lot of very good young players at the club and we are excited to give them the opportunities that they've worked so hard for over the last couple of years."

It would take a lot to walk away

"It's maybe something for the future, who knows?" said McCall when asked if coaching Ireland would ever be a possibility.

"I do like having daily interaction with the players and that day-to-day grind is something that I enjoy.

"I haven't really thought about coaching Ireland, I'm happy where I am at the moment and I just want to keep this going for as long as possible."

"I feel lucky to have come to Saracens at the right time.

"We have some fabulous people working here and it would take a lot to walk away from this job."

Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell
Andy Farrell will replace Joe Schmidt as head coach after the World Cup in Japan

Head coach Joe Schmidt will step away from the Ireland set-up after the World Cup, with current defence coach Andy Farrell poised to replace the New Zealander.

"Coaching Ireland can either go very well or go very badly," adds McCall, "I think that Joe has done an incredible job.

"I coached with Andy here for the first two or three years at Saracens. He is a great man and I think he will do a great job.

"I think it's a clever appointment to have someone who has worked with Joe as well.

"He will have his own ideas and is a very strong character and personality, plus he knows the game inside out and knows winning inside out.

"I'm sure he will do a fabulous job."

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