Moody hopes England set tone for the Ashes

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England captain Lewis Moody is determined to set the tone for a winter of sporting success against Australia with a timely victory at Twickenham tomorrow.

Moody will lead England into battle against the Wallabies less than a fortnight before Andrew Strauss' England cricketers launch their Ashes defence Down Under.

The two England skippers have already swapped tips on what it takes to beat the Aussies - and Moody vowed his side would do everything possible to give Strauss and his men a pre-Ashes boost.

"I met Strauss and Alastair Cook the other week," said Moody, who led his side to a 21-20 victory over Australia in Sydney five months ago.

"We had a chat, I wished them the best of luck and I think he (Strauss) took some confidence from the win we had over there in the summer.

"I will be watching intently when they start and tomorrow we will be trying to give them as much confidence as we can."

Moody's back-row colleague Tom Croft is good friends with England's fast bowler Stuart Broad from their days at Oakham School.

"He's a good lad who pays attention to what I'm doing, and I follow his career intently. He's almost England's number one child at the moment in cricket," he said.

"He was in the first-team for cricket but he wasn't that good at school. He was quite podgy back then, but he suddenly shot up when he left.

"I was in the thirds or fourths, which was more about sledging. With the rugby, I was in the firsts and he was in the seconds or thirds."

Croft backed England to retain the Ashes this winter and he is relishing the chance to strike the first blow against Australia.

England were beaten by New Zealand at Twickenham last weekend but they have the chance to seal back-to-back victories over the Wallabies.

"It's always nice to beat the Aussies. If we can build on our performance in the second half last week - which was a step up from what we produced in Sydney, then we will be a tough team to beat," said Croft.

"Australia have improved and they are the team to beat at the moment, so we've got to be perfect against them.

"But I don't think we're playing catch-up with them at all, the quality of players we have can easily match what they have to offer in all areas of the game."