I’m the man to lead Johnson’s charges, says stand-in Moody

LEWIS MOODY insists he is the man to lead England into the 2011 World Cup.

The new Bath flanker was given the nod to replace the injured Steve Borthwick for the tour of Australasia earlier this summer and became only the second captain ever to lead England to a Test victory over the Wallabies on home soil.

Borthwick is set to return for the daunting international series against New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and South Africa this autumn, but Johnson is yet to commit himself to naming a permanent skipper with competition hotting up for starting places.

Now, Moody, a former team-mate of Johnson at Leicester and England, has staked his claim for the armband by insisting he is ready to take on the role on a permanent basis.

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.

“It was certainly an experience for me, taking on all that pressure and responsibility for the team over a few weeks. 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.”

Moody, 32, made his Bath debut against Ulster at the weekend after 14 years at the Tigers and says he is enjoying a new lease of life.

“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,” he said. “I’m genuinely enjoying it, it’s fantastic.”