Moody relishing return
Flanker and captain looking forward to making England comeback
By Paul Higham on Twitter@SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 20/02/11 3:09pm
Moody: Mad for England return
Lewis Moody praised England's performances in their two opening RBS Six Nations victories, but now wants his place back in Martin Johnson's side to take on France on Saturday.
""I've returned from injury and played nine minutes before being recalled to the England team, so the lack of time is not an issue. It's not ideal not to have had loads of game-time, but I had 60 minutes before this season's autumn series started due to my eye injury."
Lewis Moody Quotes of the week
Moody may have made just a 23-minute appearance off the Bath bench against Northampton on Saturday, but he feels that is enough to get him back into England's XV against the French.
After five weeks out with a knee injury, Moody had always targeted Saturday's Twickenham showdown as his date to return to England action, and he is relishing the prospect of adding to his 66 caps.
"Full credit to the physios, who put up with my whingeing and shouting at them over the last five weeks," said Moody. "They worked like stink.
"I've said all along that I wanted to be back for this French game. We said it was a realistic target, so we've all been proved right at the minute.
"We will see what happens, but it is just nice to be fit."
'Mad Dog' Moody will be at his enthusiastic best when he joins up with the England team on Sunday, and he admits he has been a terrible spectator over the last month or so.
"I am going to be an excitable boy being back in the camp for real," he added. "It has been wonderful to see the boys do so well so far in the Six Nations.
"Mike Tindall has done a cracking job as captain and the guys who have come in have stuck their hands up, which bodes well in a World Cup year.
"But it has also been soul-destroying for me. I am a terrible spectator of the game, and I've found it difficult."
Johnson will name his team to face Les Bleus on Thursday, and while Moody does not think he is an automatic choice he insists a lack of playing time should not count against him.
"It's a discussion we will need to have in the week, but I've returned from injury and played nine minutes before being recalled to the England team, so the lack of time is not an issue," he said.
"It's not ideal not to have had loads of game-time, but I had 60 minutes before this season's autumn series started due to my eye injury.
"England is a team I have been involved with for 10 or 11 years now, and I've been through all the highs and lows. We are certainly on a high at the minute.
"An incredible amount of work has gone in, and we are now starting to see the rewards, so to have missed the start of the Six Nations is very frustrating.
"We have got belief and confidence in ourselves, and the coaches believe we have it in us.
"That final Test in Australia during the summer (England won 21-20), we showed the world what we had been talking about and what we knew we were capable of as a squad.
"Until you do that, you can't just keep talking about it, you have to prove it. We've taken it from there. Consistency of performance is the key, and we built on that through the autumn series and then into the Six Nations."