Johnson defends under-fire Moody

Sat, 26 Nov 16:29:18 2011

Martin Johnson has launched a passionate defence of England's under-fire World Cup captain Lewis Moody - and insisted he would make the same choice all over again.

Moody's leadership was criticised by England's elite rugby director Rob Andrew and some of his team-mates in confidential World Cup reports that were leaked to The Times.

"Lewis was the outstanding choice to captain that group and I wouldn't hesitate to make the same choice again to do that. He was fantastic," said Johnson.

"He worked incredibly hard on and off the field, he did the job as well as he could do it. He gave a huge amount of care and thought to what he was doing. He didn't try and be something that he isn't.

"If some people didn't think he was a good captain, fine, but that is certainly not the majority view of the team. If you take one opinion and one comment and chuck it out there...

"You can't fault Lewis for the way he captained that squad. He was coming back from injury and that was difficult for him in that sense and he was hugely frustrated at times about where he was physically and not being able to be on the field, leading the team.

"I thought he did an absolutely fantastic job from the day we asked him to step up and do it."

The veteran Bath flanker was criticised by an unnamed team-mate for having too much contact with his agent, Mark Spoors, during the tournament.

Moody, who cancelled a book signing at Twickenham on Saturday, was also singled out by Andrew for leading a senior player delegation that disputed the squad's World Cup payments.

Moody released a statement on Wednesday rejecting the reported claims that he was motivated by money.

 

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