Moody back for England

Lewis Moody is finally back to captain England against Georgia this weekend. [more]

Moody back for England

Lewis Moody is finally back to captain England against Georgia this weekend.

The 2005 Lions flanker hasn’t played since injuring ligaments in his knee during the opening World Cup warm up win over Wales at the beginning of August.

The Bath star missed the return fixture in Cardiff, the impressive win over Ireland in Dublin and the narrow victory over Argentina in England’s first tournament fixture last week.

But the openside has now been passed fit to take his place in the team that shows nine changes for the clash with the Georgians.

"It’s great to have Lewis back," said England team manager Martin Johnson.

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"This is a chance for a lot of guys to play. That was always the plan – that people would have to play and be ready, to give them a chance for the second half of the pool.

"We are excited about getting back to Dunedin. It was a great game last week, great atmosphere, an intense World Cup match, a real tough battle.

"It was almost like you were in sudden-death already. That's great, that's what you want, to be battle-hardened as you go through."

Johnson has changed both halfbacks, with Leicester duo Ben Youngs and Toby Flood taking over from Richard Wrigglesworth and Jonny Wilkinson, while Shontayne Hape comes in for Mike Tindall in the centre.

Dylan Hartley and Matt Stevens come into the front row for Steve Thompson and the injured Andrew Sheridan and Lions veteran Simon Shaw and Tom Palmer form a new second row partnership ahead of Louis Deacon and the suspended Courtney Lawes.

Northampton flanker Tom Wood is the final change to the starting line up, with No8 Nick Easter completing the back row as James Haskell and Tom Croft drop to the bench.

Also among the replacements are Wilkinson and Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson, who will make his England debut if called up in Dunedin.

Mark Cueto again misses out having been struggling with a back injury prior to the 13-9 success against Argentina.

England (vs Georgia, Saturday, 7am BST)

Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Shontayne Hape, Delon Armitage, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Matt Stevens, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Simon Shaw, Tom Palmer, Tom Wood, Lewis Moody (captain), Nick Easter

Replacements: Steve Thompson, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, James Haskell, Joe Simpson, Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Banahan

NB Bold denotes Lion

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