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Paul O'Connell eager for Ireland improvement

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell claims that he and his teammates are a "long, long way away" from winning the Rugby World Cup following their 10-16 loss to Wales.

Paul O'Connell has claimed that Ireland are a "long, long way away" from winning the Rugby World Cup following their defeat to Wales.

The Irish suffered a 16-10 defeat on home turf last weekend in what was their penultimate warm-up game for the tournament.

O'Connell and his teammates take on England at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow, and the captain is eager to see an improvement from his side.

"I'd love to win a World Cup but it's a long, long way away now," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News. "And I'll tell you, the Monday morning after the Wales game, when we reviewed it, it felt a long, long way away as well.

"For me I don't think there's any value in me or us getting distracted by that. I think the week after you lose you wonder almost why you're playing any more, and Monday was tough.

"After the Scotland game (a 28-22 win for Ireland on August 15) I thought we were going to put a whole lot of things right, unfortunately we didn't and you just find out a lot about how far you have to go.

"So we need to get those things right this weekend and start building now, so winning the World Cup, it would be great but it's very much not at the forefront of my mind."

Ireland earned a 19-9 victory over England in Dublin during this year's Six Nations.

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Rhys Ruddock of Leinster during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool Two match between Leinster Rugby and Harlequins at the Aviva Stadium on December 13, 2014
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