English Rugby
Moody 'prays' for Lancaster to stay on
ESPNscrum Staff
March 11, 2012
England captain Lewis Moody speaks at a press conference ahead of the quarter-final against France, Auckland, New Zealand, October 7, 2011
Lewis Moody has backed Stuart Lancaster for the full time role with England © Getty Images

Lewis Moody, the former England captain, has called on the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to appoint Stuart Lancaster on a permanent basis.

The 33-year-old, who announced his retirement from all rugby due to injury last week, has warned against "change for change's sake" in the case of the interim England boss.

England take on France in Paris on Sunday, with both sides desperate to keep alive any lingering Six Nations title hopes, and Moody believes that a lot will depend on events at the Stade de France and next weekend against Ireland.

Despite the feelgood factor Lancaster has generated, other high-profile coaches such as Jake White and Nick Mallett have been strongly linked with filling the post.

White is now out of the running after pledging his future to Super Rugby outfit the Brumbies, but Mallett remains firmly in contention.

"Stuart has got a great coaching team around him in Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree," Moody told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"I think at the end of the day, whether he stays in his role or not will depend on the next two matches and whether England can get a victory. I pray that it is Stuart Lancaster. I hope that there is not just change for change's sake. Stuart and his coaching team, for me, would be a preferred choice going towards 2015.

"They have been there and done it, earned the respect of the players and they've built a good culture around that squad. I have been impressed by them, and they can only improve from now, going forward. I am excited about the future for England, and I hope it is with Stuart in charge."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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