Lewis Moody has expressed his serious concerns over England’s attempt to set up a clash with New Zealand at Twickenham on November 4, fearing the effects of this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour could undermine their cause.
Eddie Jones, the England head coach ,expects at least 15 of his players to be part of the three test, 10 match tour of New Zealand and Moody, the former England captain, knows exactly what a tour of that country entails having been part of the failed 2005 Lions squad.
Moody won 71 England caps and managed just one win in seven attempts against the All Blacks, having also played against them in two tests on that 2005 Lions tour. Moody said:” I remember coming back from that 2005 Lions tour feeling drained both physically and mentally. I got an injury early at the start of the season and that hampered my build up to the November games.
“The Lions is the most demanding thing I ever did in my professional rugby career because there was no break, being away and constantly under the spotlight means this year’s tour party will need a rest when they get back and the RFU has to be very careful they don’t arrange the All Blacks game and it becomes a nothing fixture because the players are either burn out or injured. Then the result becomes irrelevant.
“ Player welfare comes into this and I don’t think England need to be playing New Zealand at this point of their development under Eddie Jones. Why is there this need to prove how great you are now? Everyone seems to want know how good England really are and I get that but not at the expense of cramming in another game on top of an incredibly busy Lions year. “
Jones has already started discussing how much rugby his senior players will face going into a summer and those who don’t make the Lions tour could be given time off and excused the trip to Argentina.
Jones said: “There are a couple of players I have already had discussions with about if they don’t make the Lions whether it’s in their interest to have a longer off season. It’ll be a case by case basis and one of the things that keeps coming back is everyone wants to play for England, no one wants to give up their shirt so we’ll balance that out.”
as seen in Evening Standard