Saturday 25 November 2017

Moody starts as Johnson shuffles England pack

Flanker Lewis Moody will return to lead England in tomorrow morning's clash against Georgia in Dunedin after manager Martin Johnson made nine changes to the side that beat Argentina in their Pool B opener.

Moody lasted an hour of England's warm-up match against Wales at Twickenham on August 6 before limping off with a recurrence of the knee ligament injury which kept him out of the Six Nations.

However, Johnson said last week that the player, nicknamed 'Crazyhorse' for his fearless approach, was back to full fitness and he wins his 68th cap at his usual position of openside flanker, with Tom Wood coming in at blindside.

Toby Flood, first choice during the Six Nations but now behind Jonny Wilkinson in the pecking order, starts at out-half while Ben Youngs, who turned the game with a try off the bench against Argentina, starts at scrum-half.

Shontayne Hape comes in at inside-centre as Mike Tindall is rested, while uncapped scrum-half Joe Simpson is among the replacements.

There is a new, powerful second-row partnership as Simon Shaw and Tom Palmer come in for Louis Deacon and the suspended Courtney Lawes.

Matt Stevens starts at loosehead in place of Andrew Sheridan, who has flown home with a shoulder injury, with Dylan Hartley at hooker.

England v Georgia,

Live, tomorrow, ITV1, Set Irl, 7.0

Irish Independent

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