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Lewis Moody: Rejuvenated England still face tough task

Last Updated: 30/05/14 12:42am

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Moody: Tough for England

Moody: Tough for England

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Lewis Moody believes England have "created their own identity" but will still be up against it on their summer tour of New Zealand.

Moody, who skippered England during the 2011 World Cup campaign, feels a lack of strength in depth could count against the tourists - especially in the first Test on June 7 in Auckland.

"They've created their own identity; you look in the changing room now at Twickenham, it's very different to what it was," Moody told Sky Sports News.

"New Zealand is the toughest place in the world to go and play rugby and missing seven or eight of his starting line-up will be a significant fact."

"I feel that England probably will lose that first test".

With England lacking several first team regulars, Danny Cipriani is in the frame to start against the All Blacks but Moody believes he lacks experience and would choose Freddie Burns.

"I probably wouldn't pick him (Cipriani). But that's because I think there are areas of his game that are still lacking a bit. I think defensively and decision making wise, he's still not quite there as a first choice starter. I think to have him in the squad is great."

England coach, Stuart Lancaster has a policy of not picking French-based players and ERC European Player of the Year, Steffon Armitage is not in the squad as a result - something Moody agrees with.

"He's been so brilliant this year as a player I don't see anyone else in the England squad that offers what Steffon offers" he said.

"He's been so consistently good. When he left to go to France, he was sort of fifth, sixth choice for England, whereas now he's without doubt for me the four back row in English rugby at the moment."

The Lewis Moody Foundation launches on Saturday and its founder explained his reasons were based on a deeply personal experience.

"I met a young man called Josh back in 2012, who was sadly diagnosed with cancer and I went on a journey with him and his family. We took him to Twickenham had a day out - a really memorable day."

"We wanted to set up a foundation in his honour and giving experiences for young families, kids, people dealing with the most serious illnesses and to just take away some memories".

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