England great Lawrence Dallaglio says this year's World Cup in New Zealand has come too soon for the current squad to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, but has backed them to triumph on home soil in 2015.
Former No.8 Dallaglio was a member of the England team that won the World Cup in Australia eight years ago.
Martin Johnson, the victorious captain in 2003, is now England's manager but Dallaglio, himself a former Test skipper, does not expect his old teammate to be celebrating another World Cup triumph in New Zealand.
"Hand on heart, England are not favourites," he said at the launch of his book, World Cup Rugby Tales, on Wednesday.
"They are not the number one side in the world; they are not the number two.
"What can we realistically expect from England in this World Cup? Well, if they got to the semifinals and played well then I think the majority of people would be happy.
"I don't think Martin Johnson would be happy. I don't think the coaches would be, I don't think the players would be happy but the majority of people would say that is not a bad reflection of where you are at the moment.
"Will this team be better after the World Cup? The answer is yes, undoubtedly.
"For many of them it will be there first experience of a World Cup and I know from my own experience in '99, we didn't win that World Cup because we were not ready to win it at that moment in time.
"It would have been nice to win it, but we weren't ready to win it and we learned huge lessons from it.
"By the time we got to 2003, we were absolutely ready to win that World Cup.
"I hope this England team enjoy the World Cup, have a great experience. For some of them it will be their last but for the majority of them it will be their first.
"I think that this England team's time will come four years later," he added of a World Cup that will be staged in England.
"Without a doubt this team is capable of winning in 2015. That is no consolation if they don't go and win this one because of course you don't know what is going to happen in the future.
"But this England team are getting better and better all the time."
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