Australia 20-21 England, Sydney, June 19
Moody set to be given captaincy full time
June 20, 2010
England's Lewis Moody spins the ball, England training session, North Sydney Oval, Sydney, Australia, June 18, 2010
Lewis Moody steered England to an historic triumph in Sydney on Saturday © Getty Images

Lewis Moody looks set to retain the England captaincy on a permanent basis after being hailed for his leadership qualities in the wake of his side's 21-20 win against Australia.

The Bath-bound flanker became only the second man after Martin Johnson to lead England to a Test victory over the Wallabies in Australia. Moody once again suffered a heavy blow to the head, as he did during the first Test last weekend, and the fog had still not cleared over an hour after the match had finished. But nothing was going to slow him down on the field and Moody's high-energy performance set the tone for England's remarkable victory.

From the very first minute Moody was in the face of Australia fly-half Quade Cooper and the Wallabies were not granted time and space to play. Saracens lock Steve Borthwick has captained England in every Test he has been fit to play since Johnson took over as England manager. But Moody led England to an improved performance against France in the Six Nations and then to victory yesterday, with the only disappointment being the performance in last week's 27-17 first Test defeat.

England scrum coach Graham Rowntree said, "He is the barometer of our energy and passion and he's just fantastic and great leader, great player and fearless. Jesus is he fearless. I'm delighted for him, he's got the utmost respect of everyone here and he produced a bg performance. Moodos was very frustrated from the week before and that came out. He epitomised our effort in that game."

Borthwick missed the France game and the current tour with an on-going knee injury and he will have his work cut out to force his way back into England's first-choice second row next season. Courtney Lawes made an impressive full debut at the Olympic Stadium yesterday, bringing dynamism and aggression to England's game after coming in for Simon Shaw. Gloucester's Dave Attwood and Leicester's Geoff Parling have both impressed the management in England's midweek games.

It has been a memorable month for Moody, who won the Guinness Premiership title at the end of his final season with Leicester and then captained England to a famous victory in Sydney. Moody's sights are now trained on rest - and then a future full of new challenges.

Bath want Moody to inject some of the winning mentality he has formed after 14 years at Leicester and a decade of international rugby. "To sit in that changing room having just won in Australia for only the third time in over 100 years is phenomenal," said Moody. "We were more negative than anyone about our own performance last week. That changed this week and we played with our pedal to the metal. We are not going to get ahead of ourselves. It is one step on a ladder that we have to keep improving on."


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