Moody Fit And The Dreaded Hodgson Returns

27 10 2010

Good news for England in that Lewis Moody has been declared fit for next weekend’s game against the All Black. At points over recent years, Moody has appeared to be the only one who cared about representing England and, certainly over the last year, has probably been England’s most valuable player.

The battle as ever with the All Blacks is as much if not more against Richie McCaw than in controlling their devastating back line. McCaw provides the base from which they get quick ball as well as providing the link man between backs and forwards. If a likely (and very pacey) combination of Moody and Croft at 6 and 7 can come close to doing this, then England immediately stand more of a chance.

In the difficult selection of Fly Half another dreaded name has been thrown into the mix thanks to Jonny Wilkinson suffering a shoulder injury. Yes indeed – Charlie Hodgson is back!

We wrote an article about him at the beginning of the year which sums up our feelings toward him. Equally, however, we do appreciate why Johnson has selected the Sale man. Thanks to Cipriani being as far from the England camp as can be; with Ryan Lamb’s continued on-off nature of his performances and with Jonny now injured – who else does he turn to? It can be argued that English rugby is improving at the moment but the 10 position is hardly a strength right now, and with a couple of injuries has the potential of being a genuine weakness, undermining any progress being made.

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One response

27 10 2010
Brian Carpenter

Overall, I think you’re right. Johnson had nowhere else to go. But, having seen Lamb at close quarters for Irish against Exeter last Saturday, you could almost be forgiven for thinking he could have been worth a punt. He was excellent and looks to be maturing well under the guidance of Catt.

If he maintains his current form he’ll be worth a look in the future, although his defence will have to improve a lot for him to be able to cut the mustard at the highest level.

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