Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Moody comes through drab draw

Lewis Moody

Lewis Moody prepared for England's clash with New Zealand next Saturday by playing the full 80 minutes of Bath's 6-6 draw with Harlequins.

The Aviva Premiership points were shared after Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans and Bath centre Olly Barkley landed two penalties apiece.

All eyes were on Moody ahead of England's opening Investec autumn international. The England captain had asked to be released from the red rose training camp to play at The Stoop just 30 days after suffering an eye injury which left him fearing for his sight.

Moody bruised the retina of his left eye in a collision with Gloucester full-back Charlie Sharples and his vision is still not perfect. It may never be.

But Moody was adamant about getting a game in before tackling the All Blacks across the A316 next weekend and he survived largely unscathed - save for a cut to the head which required treatment after only five minutes.

England also released Matt Banahan to start at outside centre for Bath - a position backs coach Brian Smith believes he could play at Test level in the near future.

Smith and England manager Martin Johnson were both in the stands and they will have been more than a little concerned to see Moody disappear for treatment to a head wound, although he returned seven minutes later.

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