Moody calls time on career

2012-03-06 14:04

London - Former England captain and 2003 World Cup winner Lewis Moody confirmed on Tuesday that he is retiring from rugby with immediate effect after struggling to return to the game from injury.

The 33-year-old Bath flank, who won 71 caps and played in two Tests on the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, stepped down from the international arena following England's World Cup campaign last autumn.

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce my immediate retirement from all forms of rugby," said Moody, who suffered a shoulder injury earlier this season.

"I have been very privileged to have played in some incredible teams and with some phenomenal players.

"Rugby has been my life for such a long time now, it is scary to imagine what it will be like without it, but I look forward to relishing the new opportunities and adventures that will come my way."

Moody retired from the international scene having scored nine tries for England and having skippered his country on 11 occasions.

He also won three caps for the British and Irish Lions, a figure which, like his England appearances, would have been higher save for a string of injuries, which included a broken ankle in 2009 and a knee injury last year.

Moody started his career with Leicester in 1996, winning seven Premiership titles during his 14 years with the club, before joining Bath in 2010.

Former England coach Martin Johnson, a former Leicester team-mate of Moody, said playing alongside him was always enjoyable and like many players and coaches praised his total commitment on the pitch.

"It's sad that he has had to retire but he should be remembered for a great career and someone who never gave less than 100 percent for his club and country," said Johnson.

Bath director of rugby Ian McGeechan said Moody had been "a fantastic servant to the game" and had greatly admired his career.

"He is always fully committed and is everything any coach would want in a back row forward. He is someone whose opinion I trust and value, and he leaves a fantastic legacy... which will long be remembered."