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Moody happy with his role at Rugby World Cup


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Article Published: Wednesday 23 November 2011


Retired England Captain Lewis Moody has spoken out after confidential reports were leaked in which England players slammed their coaches and fellow players.

Rob Andrew's report revealed that senior players were led by Moody on a dispute the RFU bosses over payments for playing for England.

"It is very disappointing that a senior group, led by the captain Lewis Moody, disputed the level of payment for the World Cup squad which led to meetings with RFU executives," said the report.

"I believe this led to a further unsettling of the squad just before departure which included a threat by the squad not to attend the World Cup send-off dinner, at Twickenham."

"It suggested that some of the senior players were more focused on money than getting the rugby right."

However Moody has issued his own statement saying that he is happy with the way he captained England and says he did it to the "absolute best of my (his) ability" but expressed surprise that some players were not happy with his captaincy.

"I have seen the stories in today's Times with their interpretation of the leaked post Rugby World Cup (RWC) reviews" said Moody in a Press release.

"Once again it is deeply disappointing to see players' feedback aimed at improving England rugby, and which we were promised would remain confidential and anonymous, being put in the public domain for political purposes.

"I have particularly seen those stories about me personally and wanted to comment. Captaining England was, and remains, the ultimate honour for me and I accepted that honour knowing all the scrutiny that came with it."

"I am confident I did the job to the absolute best of my ability but if some of the players thought that was not enough I will have to learn to live with that."

"I have always been my own fiercest critic and have already been honest that there were some things I wish I had done differently at the World Cup, but I have learnt from the experience and hope others can do the same.

"I put my body on the line for the lads, the team and England every time I played and anyone who has watched me play knows that I give everything on the field and have always prioritised rugby ahead of everything else, including financial reward."

"I have only ever undertaken personal commercial activities in my own time and I'm comfortable I got that balance right at all times."

"Where I had to be involved in commercial conversations with the RFU it was as captain, working with the RPA, representing the best interests of the players, not for any personal gain. I do not think anyone who knows me would think differently.

"The next few months will be vital for the English rugby and I hope the opportunity is seized to use player feedback for positive change not negative recriminations and political games."

"I have retired from England and am now focussed on Bath Rugby and playing my rugby in the same way I always have with passion and commitment. It is time we looked forward not back."

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