Moody relishing return

England captain eager to get back in action against Wales

Last Updated: 03/08/11 7:46am

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England captain Lewis Moody says he cannot wait to get back on the pitch for his side's first World Cup warm-up match against Wales on Saturday.

The flanker missed the whole of England's victorious RBS Six Nations campaign at the start of the year due to a knee injury, but is set make his international return in the clash at Twickenham.

He managed to get some game time for club side Bath towards the end of the season but is eager to represent his country once more.

"It's the exciting part, you get a chance to play and go out on the pitch and do what you're paid to do," Moody told Sky Sports News of the Wales match.

He added: "I had a few games at the end of last season, although I obviously missed the Six Nations. But I got back fit for Bath and got a couple of games in.

"It was nice to finish the season that way, but the reason we're all rugby players is because we want to play the game and for me that's the most important thing.

Fantastic

"To be out there and to get to play at Twickenham this weekend will be fantastic."

After playing Wales on Saturday, England will travel to the Millennium Stadium for a reverse fixture the following weekend.

Their World Cup warm-up will then conclude with a Test against Ireland in Dublin on August 27, with their campaign in the tournament in New Zealand beginning against Argentina on September 10.

Five players were released from manager Martin Johnson's training squad on Monday and back-row forward Tom Croft says the focus of the preparations is now starting to change.

Croft said: "It seems like it's taken a long time to get here, the last six weeks have been hard, a lot of the boys have worked very, very hard.

"The calibre of players that have been taken out of the squad already shows how good this squad is.

"It's good to be in a Test week and obviously we'll still work on the fitness side, but we're slowly gearing towards games now."

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