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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future