Italy v England, Six Nations, February 14
Moody calls for English fight
February 9, 2010
Lewis Moody has called on England to give their all in Rome © Getty Images
Lewis Moody has called on England to show all of their "dog, heart and enthusiasm" when they take on Italy at the Stadio Flaminio on Sunday.
The flanker believes that Italy offer as big a physical challenge as any side in the world and that Martin Johnson's men will underestimate them at their peril. England began their Six Nations with a victory over Wales at Twickenham while Italy scrapped and fought during a disappointing 29-11 loss to champions Ireland in Dublin.
"In terms of physicality Italy are right up there as one of the best teams in the world. That is what their game is about," he said. "Like Scotland, when they are at home they have an ability to pick themselves up by 50%. It is going to take every bit of our dog, heart and enthusiasm to get a result in Rome."
Moody has been in prime form for club and country since recovering from a broken ankle, the third serious injury he suffered in short succession following hip and Achilles surgery. Having been talked out of retiring by his wife, Annie, the 31-year-old is now relishing his work.
"It has just been fantastic for me to have a consistent run of games without any problems getting in the way," he said. "I have had three huge operations in the last two seasons and to come out the other side, after doubting whether I would, and to be able to play again with this team and pull on the jersey of England is huge for me.
"I love it and I will make sure I make the most of every opportunity until those days are past. I very much looking forward to the next game."
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success