Moody hits back over leaks
Skipper refutes suggestions he put commercial gain before rugby
Last Updated: 24/11/11 8:14am
Lewis Moody: Insisted he has put his body on the line for England every time he has played
Lewis Moody has strongly hit back at suggestions he put commercial gain before his rugby at the recent World Cup.
England's elite rugby director Rob Andrew has reportedly criticised the skipper for leading a senior player delegation that disputed the squad's World Cup payments.
The 33-year-old Bath flanker is also criticised by one unnamed team-mate for having too much contact with his agent during the tournament and setting the wrong example.
While admitting he made mistakes as skipper during the World Cup, Moody insists he put rugby first and describes captaining his country as the 'ultimate honour'.
"I have only ever undertaken personal commercial activities in my own time and I'm comfortable I got that balance right at all times."
Lewis Moody Quotes of the week
He said in a statement: "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 that I give everything on the field and have always prioritised rugby ahead of everything else, including financial reward.
"Captaining England was, and remains, the ultimate honour for me and I accepted that honour knowing all the scrutiny that came with it.
"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.
"I have always been my own fiercest critic and have already been honest that there were some things I wish I had done differently at the World Cup, but I have learnt from the experience and hope others can do the same.
"I have only ever undertaken personal commercial activities in my own time and I'm comfortable I got that balance right at all times.
"Where I had to be involved in commercial conversations with the RFU it was as captain, working with the RPA, representing the best interests of the players, not for any personal gain. I do not think anyone who knows me would think differently."
The criticisms of Moody were contained in two of the three reports into England's disastrous World Cup campaign that have been leaked to The Times.
Rugby Players' Association chief Damian Hopley has demanded an investigation to track down the source of the leaked confidential World Cup reports.