Moody retires from Test stage

ENGLAND captain Lewis Moody may have called time on his own Test career but the flanker insists under-fire manager Martin Johnson must not follow him out the door.

Moody yesterday announced that the World Cup, which ended in the disappointment of a quarter-final defeat to France, would be his last action for the Red Rose.

But the 33-year-old is adamant Johnson has the backing of the entire squad to lead the team into the next tournament, which England will host in 2015.

“There is not a single member of the World Cup squad who does not believe Johnno should stay on and finish the job, just as Clive Woodward did after 1999,” he said.

Moody, who has battled increasing injury problems, will now focus on extending his club career with Bath.

Johnson hailed the bravery of Moody, who played in two World Cup finals during a 71-cap Test career.

He said: “Lewis has been a great servant to English rugby and has literally put his body on the line more times than he can probably remember.”