Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Moody warns against unnecessary change

Lewis Moody

Former England captain Lewis Moody has thrown his support behind Stuart Lancaster to become the next full-time national team coach.

Lancaster has been in interim charge for the current RBS 6 Nations campaign after taking over from Martin Johnson, who resigned after England's dismal World Cup campaign in New Zealand last autumn.

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

Under Lancaster's direction, England claimed away wins against Scotland and Italy and pushed Six Nations title favourites Wales to the limit at Twickenham before suffering an agonising 19-12 defeat.

Despite the feelgood factor Lancaster has generated, though, other more 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.

Moody, who announced his retirement from rugby five days ago, has urged the Rugby Football Union not to make "change for change's sake".

"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," Moody added.

"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."

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