Moody: No Arm in going without a natural seven
ENGLAND can win Rugby World Cup 2015 without a “so-called natural seven” like Steffon Armitage, insists Lewis Moody.
The 2003 World Cup winner has launched a staunch defence of Chris Robshaw’s England captaincy, backing Stuart Lancaster’s side for glory next autumn.
Moody said England and Robshaw must not be “hung up” on the Armitage situation, with the Toulon back-rower unlikely to feature in next year’s World Cup.
“There are always doubts for any captain, even if you’re right at the races,” Moody said.
“Someone will always be saying there’s a better player out there.
“And that’s certainly something Chris has had to deal with in recent weeks and months.
“I don’t think there’s any question over his captaincy, he’s earned that right over the last three years.
“We don’t tend to produce the Richie McCaws, the David Pococks, the Michael Hoopers, and we haven’t had one since Neil Back.
“We always clamour for the so-called natural seven, but we don’t actually really do anything to produce them.
“If you look at France and South Africa, who mostly play left and right, it becomes irrelevant.
“They have produced some wonderful players, Thierry Dusautoir, Schalk Burger and Francois Louw.
“You wouldn’t term Louw an out-and-out seven, but he’s a fantastic player.
“People have been hung up on this natural seven, but what England actually have is a seven who works his backside off, makes a truckload of tackles, carries a lot of ball, leads very well and does what his team needs absolutely brilliantly.”
Moody believes England must now come of age in the four-Test autumn series and Six Nations in order to find success next year.
“It is important England take something decisive into the World Cup,” added Moody.
“Injuries make the autumn far tougher, but looking at the Six Nations, they’ve finished second in the last two.
“They’ve reached the point where they have to deliver.”