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Moody admits to World Cup mistakes


Lewis Moody

Lewis Moody

Lewis Moody

Former England captain Lewis Moody has admitted he should have banned his team-mates from going out at night during the recent World Cup campaign.

England's lacklustre challenge in New Zealand was dogged by repeated stories of off-field behaviour, the most high profile being a night out in a Queensland bar which made headlines, in part because of security footage showing Mike Tindall in conversation with a woman.

In an extract from his book, Mad Dog: An Englishman, serialised in the Mail On Sunday, Moody said: "I had been growing concerned about the attitude in the camp, which had become apparent pretty much from the moment we arrived in Auckland."

"We were on the other side of the world, a lot of the guys were young, well-known, wealthy and believed they were invincible. I remember thinking that some were not quite in the right mind-set."

Moody, 33, was present at the night out at the Queensland bar, which infamously was hosting a 'Mad Midget Weekender', but left early on.

Moody claims England had been "too free-spirited" and "got burned" as a result, leading the team to decide at a players' meeting that they needed to be better disciplined.

The controversies kept coming, with coaches Dave Alred and Paul Stridgeon suspended for a game after illegally changing balls and centre Manu Tuilagi given a warning by Auckland police for disorderly behaviour after jumping from a ferry as it was about to berth. Moody admits such incidents left a shadow over the end of his international career.

He calls some of the behaviour "totally unacceptable" and wrote: "If I could change one thing, knowing some of the characters we had in that squad, it would be to have banned them from going out at all."

He insists Tindall, who is married to the Queen's grand-daughter Zara Phillips, did nothing wrong and that pictures of him with a blonde woman which surfaced later showed him getting "drunk with an old friend" and media coverage blew the incident up out of proportion.

But Moody admitted: "I take some of the blame. I was captain and the buck stopped with Johnno and me. Tins [Tindall] coped with the media flak but he was churning inside. I imagine he felt he had let a lot of people down. I knew that Tins had done nothing more than get drunk with an old friend."

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