Moody: ‘Players had to be banned at RWC’

Retired England skipper Lewis Moody reveals in his recently released biography that his players were out of control at the World Cup, which was the main reason behind their early World Cup exit.

England were knocked out by France in the quarter-final round after a 19-12 defeat in Auckland, which ended a campaign tainted with off-field scandals – from mischief at their Dunedin hotel to vice-captain’s Mike Tinadall’s highly publicised meeting with ‘an old friend’ to Manu Tuilagi jumping off a ferry.

Moody was quick to release his book, Mad Dog: An Englishman , and extracts were published in English papers over the weekend, which described his feelings over England’s behaviour in New Zealand.

‘I had been growing concerned about the attitude in the camp, which had become apparent pretty much from the moment we arrived in Auckland,’ Moody wrote in the book.

‘We were on the other side of the world, a lot of the guys were young, well-known, wealthy and believed they were invincible. I remember thinking that some were not quite in the right mind-set.

‘If I could change one thing, knowing some of the characters we had in that squad, it would be to have banned them from going out at all.’

Moody went on to say he takes responsibility for the team’s actions, along with head coach Martin Johnson.

‘I take some of the blame. I was captain and the buck stopped with Johnno and me.’