English Rugby
Johnson optimistic over Moody
ESPNscrum Staff
August 8, 2011
England's Lewis Moody in action during training, England training session, Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey, England, July 25, 2011
Lewis Moody limped off during the second-half of England's win over Wales © Getty Images

England boss Martin Johnson remained bullish over Lewis Moody's chances of making the World Cup and is confident that his captain will be fit for rugby's showpiece tournament.

Moody limped out of Saturday's 23-19 win against Wales with a recurrence of the knee ligament problem that kept him sidelined for England's Six Nations title campaign. The England captain has had his right knee scanned and the results were today being studied by the team's medics, with a conclusion expected on Tuesday.

Johnson said: "The bad news would be that he has got an eight week injury that would put him out of the World Cup. I don't think it is going to put him out of the tournament, but we'll see.

"It is not great that he has got an injury, but I don't think it is on the very bad side of knee injuries."

Moody, who played with heavy strapping on his right leg, was confident on Saturday night that the injury was nothing more than a "tweak". The Bath flanker will not play in Saturday's return fixture against Wales at the Millennium Stadium and he has only featured in five games since suffering the original injury in January.

But Johnson, who has to finalise his 30-man World Cup squad on August 22, is not concerned by Moody's lack of game time ahead of the tournament in New Zealand.

"The guys like him, who have played a lot of rugby over the last 10 or 15 years, can handle that better than guys who are fairly new to it," said Johnson. "In an ideal world he is fit and available to play the next two (World Cup warm-up) games but we will have to see how it goes."

In Moody's absence, Mike Tindall captained England to their four Six Nations victories before handing over the reins to Nick Easter after injury ruled him out of the defeat to Ireland.

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