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Moody plays down injury fears

Lewis Moody tried to play down fears over the knee injury he suffered during England's 23-19 World Cup warm-up victory over Wales.

The England captain was making his international return after missing the RBS 6 Nations with ligament damage in the same right knee he injured on Saturday. Moody, who already had the knee heavily strapped, limped off the field after 61 minutes with the help of two medics and he was still hobbling after the match.

But Moody insisted: "It was just a tweak to the knee. I am walking fine. It is nicely strapped up. We will see how it is in a couple of days."

England escaped lightly on the injury front compared to Wales, whose full-back Morgan Stoddart will miss the World Cup after suffering a broken leg.

After spending the best part of seven weeks in camp, England manager Martin Johnson felt the first of three warm-up fixtures was a productive exercise.

It was certainly far more productive than the equivalent fixture four years ago, when Wales sent a third team to Twickenham and were beaten 62-5.

England opened a 20-7 lead with tries from James Haskell and debutant Manu Tuilagi but took their foot off Welsh throats when Johnson wanted them to press home the advantage.

Wales finished strongly with tries from Shane Williams and a second from George North, who added to his first-half score.

The Wales captain Sam Warburton felt England were "hanging on" at the end.

Johnson said: "It is what we wanted - to get out there and play a Test match. You get far more out of that than from the 60-pointers that occasionally happen. At 20-7 we needed to control the ball but we started to turn the ball over, then we invited them right back onto us. They nearly took that opportunity."


From Belfast Telegraph