Moody's frustration to end
Lewis Moody admits that he has endured a frustrating six weeks and is eager to get back out on the pitch against Georgia on Sunday.
Last Updated: 17/09/11 10:12am
England captain Lewis Moody admits that he has endured a frustrating six weeks and is eager to get back out on the pitch against Georgia on Sunday.
The flanker damaged knee ligaments in England's first World Cup warm-up contest against Wales in early August, sparking initial fears that he may miss the tournament altogether.
He was forced to sit out England's opener against Argentina last weekend, a situation that left him "annoyed", but has been cleared to lead his country against the Pumas.
And although Moody knows captaining England at the World Cup will be special, he says that merely getting out on the pitch will be the best feeling.
"It's been a frustrating few weeks for me with injury but I feel fit now and it is a great chance to get out on the pitch," Moody said.
"Captaining England for the first time at a World Cup will be very special - but just being on the pitch is the most special.
"Maybe for the first couple of seconds when I got injured at Twickenham I thought that was it but I have had the support of a fantastic medical team and it has come good.
"The World Cup is the pinnacle of your playing career and it is what every player strives to be involved in.
"Taking part in the warm-up against Argentina was probably the most annoying period of my life - taking part for 20 minutes, getting hot and then having to sit in the stands.
"I love playing for England, I love being involved in this squad and it is a massive privilege to be captain of it, but just to be playing the sport I love with a group if players I respect is the most important thing."
Moody's leadership credentials will have been tested this week following a publicity storm over a team night out in Queenstown, with a meeting being held by the squad on Thursday.
Team manager Martin Johnson outlined Moody's value to the squad and hailed his return to action, along with scrum-half Ben Youngs who also travelled to New Zealand under an injury cloud.
Johnson said: "We came with a couple of guys who had injuries and hadn't played that much. It was good to get Ben on the field last week and now to get Lewis out there this week.
"He's captain for a reason and he brings a lot to the team in terms of leadership and setting a great example."