Moody likely to be fit to face New Zealand

Lewis Moody is on track to captain England against New Zealand on November 6 after making a rapid recovery from an eye injury which initially left him fearing for his sight.

The Bath flanker damaged his left eye socket against Gloucester on October 1 and he was left with "virtually no vision out of that eye" until the following day.



Medics later diagnosed the injury as severe bruising and the anticipated four-week recovery period left Moody's hopes of leading England against the All Blacks in the balance.



But England team manager Martin Johnson revealed last night that Moody could be ready to play for Bath against his old club Leicester this weekend.



Moody is also likely to be released from England's pre-autumn training camp to play against Harlequins on October 31 to ensure he is in top condition to tackle the top team in world rugby.



"Lewis is pretty good. I don't know if he will play this week, it's touch and go - but he will possibly play the week after. We anticipate him being fit for rugby (in time for the New Zealand game)," said Johnson.



Moody left Leicester for Bath in the summer after 14 seasons at Welford Road and he is anxious to be involved at the weekend.



"I have been amazed at the speed of the recovery. Hopefully I will be fit as I will be very frustrated if I miss that one," he said.



Johnson stopped short of confirming Moody would retain the captaincy if fit - but it would be a shock if he did not.



England have progressed well since Moody took over the captaincy from Steve Borthwick at the end of last season's RBS 6 Nations championship.



Johnson's men were narrowly beaten in Paris by Grand Slam champions France, despite being the better side on the day, and they then bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Australia in Perth to level the series with a 21-20 victory in Sydney.



Chris Ashton, Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole and Ben Youngs all starred at the Olympic Stadium that night - four players who have broken into the England team in the last 12 months.



"What is coming together more than ever is the team thing," said Johnson.



"We have been through some tough times and that is part of the road you travel and we will be stronger for it. The Sydney win came out of those times.



"That strength of spirit is coming now. This autumn we play the number one-ranked team in the world in New Zealand. You have to play these guys to improve.



"You saw the improvement game-on-game in Australia. You have to play the best in the world if you want to challenge. The team is going in the right direction."



BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works