Wales, currently ranked sixth in world, face the top two ranked sides over the next month, as well as Argentina and Samoa.
John told BBC Sport: "I don't think our players are up to scratch.
"The half-backs are a problem. I don't think they're good enough. I don't think Mike Phillips is playing well in France. I think he's lost a bit of self-confidence and even interest.
"Like they say in boxing, [Argentina have] been in with the big boys. Their preparations have been better than Wales'. That's going to be a tough game, and so will Samoa."
Wales play their first game of the autumn series against Argentina this afternoon.