ENGLAND’S World Cup captain Lewis Moody has hit back at criticism of his conduct and leadership at the tournament, after leaked official reports laid bare the failings of the team’s disastrous campaign.
Moody was accused by Rugby Football Union (RFU) elite rugby director Rob Andrew of leading a revolt by senior players over payments for playing in last month’s tournament.
The Bath flanker, who has retired from Test duty, was also criticised for allegedly discussing commercial deals in the days before matches and giving lacklustre team talks.
“I am confident I did the job to the absolute best of my ability but if some of the players thought that was not enough I will have to learn to live with that,” said Moody.
“I put my body on the line for the lads, the team and England every time I played and anyone who has watched me play knows I give everything on the field.”
The criticism of Moody and others is contained in reports compiled by Andrew, the Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Premiership clubs into England’s World Cup, which ended at the quarter-final stage and was marred by indiscipline.
The RFU, meanwhile, last night responded to calls for an investigation by launching a probe into the leak, to be carried out by a former Scotland Yard detective.
A statement read: “The RFU will investigate and, if appropriate, take disciplinary action. The investigation will be carried out by an independent external firm.”
EXTRACTS | WORLD CUP REPORTS
Anonymous verdicts from England camp “One senior player straight after the quarter-final defeat said ‘There’s £35k down the toilet’. It made me feel sick.”
“We just wanted Johno [Martin Johnson] to have the bollocks to take action, especially after the Tindall night. He was too loyal and that was his downfall.”
“The environment was jokey and disrespectful... An immature squad who took the piss out of some for working hard.”