Moody fit to lead England

Lewis Moody has been named as England captain after being passed fit to face the All Blacks this weekend. [more]

Moody fit to lead England

Lewis Moody has been named as England captain after being passed fit to face the All Blacks this weekend.

Moody had been suffering with an eye injury he sustained in a domestic match on October 1 but returned to action in Bath’s Aviva Premiership draw at Harlequins on Sunday.

The 2005 Lion came through that match with no further damage to the eye and has since been given the all clear to face the world’s number-one ranked side at Twivkenham this Saturday.

Moody retains the captaincy having led England to a famous victory over Australia in Sydney during the summer.

Team manager Martin Johnson makes just one change from the side that started that last outing, with Lions prop Andrew Sheridan replacing fellow Lion Tim Payne in the front row.

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Sheridan, who was a Test Lion in 2009, comes in at loosehead prop having recovered from shoulder surgery that prevented him playing for England at all last season.

Bath’s Shontayne Hape retains his place in midfield, while Ben Youngs continues at scrum-half.

Hape and Youngs are among five players set to make their first Twickenham starts for England, with Northampton trio Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes also preparing for that landmark.

Former Lions hero Johnson names two uncapped players on the bench in Gloucester lock David Attwood and Leeds Carnegie flanker Hendre Fourie.

England face New Zealand this Saturday before taking on Australia, Samoa and South Africa on successive weekends.

England

15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby)
12 Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby)
11 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
10 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2 Steve Thompson (Leeds Carnegie)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby, captain)
8 Nick Easter (Harlequins)

Replacements

16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
17 David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
18 David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby)
19 Hendrie Fourie (Leeds Carnegie)
20 Danny Care (Harlequins)
21 Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks)
22 Delon Armitage (London Irish)

NB bold denotes Lion

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