The poor quality of Australia's forward play will cost them any chance of winning 2007 Rugby World Cup, former Australian captain Nick Farr-Jones, who led the Australian team in the 1991 World Cup victory, said on Wednesday. Farr-Jones said that Australia had backline talent to burn but the weakness of the Wallaby forward pack was too great an obstacle to overcome ahead of the world tournament in France. He also quoted: "I said two years ago that I didn't think we had time to catch up for the World Cup."
Worrying about the little Australia have before the World Cup, he said, "After the domestic Tri Nations, I thought we were getting there and we could but I've got to say I'm scratching my head whether we can get there in 10 months' time.
"If you look at the history of the World Cup, every team that's won it has had a dominant pack and I can't see us having a dominant pack."
Farr-Jones said Australia's backs could not entirely make up for a lack of strength up front.
"It's the key area," he said.
"If you can't win reasonable possession, it's very hard, irrespective of how good your backline is, to be able to function effectively.
"I can't see our scrum turning around in the next 10 months. "Our play at the breakdown hasn't been fantastic, we're just not intimidating anyone."