England World Cup fallout
Lewis Moody slammed for unsettling side
ESPNscrum Staff
November 23, 2011

Lewis Moody, England's captain during the World Cup, has been heavily criticised in leaked reports in the Times into what was a wretched tournament for his side.

Moody is singled out for being preoccupied with money in the build-up to the tournament in one of the reports compiled by Rob Andrew.

"It was very disappointing that a senior player group, led by the captain Lewis Moody, disputed the level of payment for the World Cup squad," Andrew said. "It led to meetings with RFU executives in the last few weeks before departure for NZ. This led to a further unsettling of the squad. Some of the senior players were more focused on money than getting the rugby right."

The row rumbled on, and it is claimed the side refused to leave the coach to attend an eve-of-tournament dinner at Twickenham until their demands were met.

The report also attacks the roles of agents and the failure to restrict their interaction with the squad. "It would appear that there are no controls placed on player/agent interaction when on international duty. This access should be subject to certain controls and processes which the management should set."

In that regard, Moody was singled out as one of the worst examples. "There was too much contact with agents, who could be distracting," one player said. "Moodos was the worst. Players should have waited until after the games[ and] the tournament, not be discussing deals a day or two before a match. Moodos might be able to separate commercial stuff and playing, but it distracts other players and isn't the right example to set."

The ease with which players could mix their official duties and private commercial demands was also attacked, with Moody again cited as an example. When injured, he remained with the squad during the Six Nations but was allowed time away to undertake commercial activities.

The impression of a group of cosseted pampered professionals is also given. "They want for nothing," the report concluded. "There is a real culture of expectation from players and a fear that rugby union is following a 'football mentality'."

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