Moody: I'm the man for England
August 19, 2010
Bath signing Lewis Moody is keen to hold on to the England captaincy © Getty Images
Lewis Moody admits he has no idea whether he will remain as England captain but he has his hand planted firmly in the air to carry on in the role through to the 2011 World Cup.
England boss Martin Johnson handed the 32-year-old the leadership reins at the end of last season but the coach insists competition for places is too high to guarantee Moody his place in the team, let alone the captaincy, even for this year's November tests.
Moody took over from Steve Borthwick last year and became only the second England captain to lead his country to a Test win in Australia in June. Moody was inspirational as England drew the two-Test series with a dramatic 21-20 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney's Olympic Stadium.
The new Bath flanker would relish the chance to lead England into their ferocious autumn campaign against New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and South Africa.
Asked whether he had proven himself during the Australian tour, Moody said: "Yeah, I feel I can do it. I feel confident that in the three games I have captained England, I have grown in experience each time and I will keep doing that if I am given the opportunity.
"I absolutely loved the job on the summer tour. It was a new experience doing it for that period of time, through the rollercoaster of losing the first Test and winning the second Test, which was incredible.
"As it was a longer period of time you take a lot more responsibility on your shoulders and you take it more personally. It was certainly an experience for me, taking on all that pressure and responsibility for the team over a few weeks. If you are asked to be captain, perhaps that's the way it should be.
"You are always learning, no matter how old you are and I enjoyed that experience as captain. I feel very honoured and privileged that I was given that task - in the summer and for the France game - that I could do it and that we could take a win in Australia for only the third time. It gave me a lot of confidence that I can do it. So if I was asked to do it again I would jump at the chance."
Johnson is the only other England captain to have won a Test in Australia, having led his team to two victories over the Wallabies in 2003.
Moody believes he will only improve as a captain if he gets a run at it leading into the World Cup - but he can understand Johnson's decision to sit tight on the appointment due to the hot competition for starting berths.
Moody said: "It is the way Johnno operates and rightly so. I can't second-guess what he is going to do - he will make a decision about it when he needs to. You need to be performing. The guys picked in the team need to be the best players and there are genuinely a raft of guys in the squad who can do that job."
Moody, who is among a number of big-name signings settling into Bath, made his debut for the club against Ulster at the weekend.
After 14 years at Leicester, Moody has moved to The Rec along with Sam Vesty while Bath have also recruited Scotland international Simon Taylor.
"This is certainly the biggest challenge I have had for a long time, adapting to a new environment and adapting to how this club does things," said Moody. "I am genuinely enjoying it. It is fantastic. The lads are great, the feedback from the coaches has been good and I just want to get out on the field and start playing some rugby."
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape