Unwanted playmaker Danny Cipriani has made the astonishing claim that not a single Wallaby could force their way into a full-strength England side.
Not ball-thieving openside flanker extraordinaire David Pocock, nor his partner-in-crime Michael Hooper, or even the brilliant Israel Folau.
Even in England’s revolving door of a midfield – which has changed in every World Cup match so far, and has resulted in coach Stuart Lancaster trying 18 different combinations since 2012 – Cipriani insists you wouldn’t find a spot for 97-Test veteran Matt Giteau or the hard-running Tevita Kuridrani.
In a sure-fire bid to inflame tensions ahead of Saturday night’s (Sunday morning AEDT) all-important Pool A clash, Cipriani made the bold statement in an online blog for a sports betting company.
The 27-year-old, who failed to make England’s 31-man World Cup squad, is best known in Australia for his short-lived stint at the Melbourne Rebels.
In his two years at the fledgling Super Rugby side, Cipriani made 19 appearances from a potential 32 as the Rebels chalked up just seven victories.
He also found himself in trouble off the field – accused of stealing a bottle of vodka from behind a Melbourne bar following his Super Rugby debut, a loss to the Waratahs.
Cipriani also believes Saturday’s Twickenham showdown, where a loss would consign England to being the first World Cup hosts knocked out in the pool stage, will be a walkover for the home side.
The heart-breaking 28-25 loss to Wales will be a distant memory for England as they hit top gear against the Wallabies, he argues.
“Not one Australian would get into that England team right now,” Cipriani said on his blog.
“England’s players know what they can do and they only just touched the tip of the iceberg against Wales.
“They didn’t quite put the nail in the coffin, but if it all clicks together on Saturday, Australia won’t have an answer.
“The Aussies will be fired up, but when it comes down to it, head-to-head England are too strong.”
Australian winger Adam Ashley-Cooper, who is lining up on Saturday night, hit back at the social-media loving Cipriani – saying he would be unfit for Wallabies duty.
“It’s just nice that Danny is talking about someone other than himself,” Ashley-Cooper told PA.
“He’s a good bloke and I enjoy his selfies a lot. He can say what he likes, he wouldn’t ever be a part of our team.”