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Moody: England players need protection


Moody: England players need protection

England’s players need more protection from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) if they are to challenge the top sides at the World Cup next year, says Lewis Moody.

Eddie Jones’ team saw their Six Nations hopes crumble against Scotland in February and they have failed to get back to winning ways since.

Successive defeats on tour in South Africa mean England have lost five straight Tests and face a potential series whitewash against the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday.

A surprise loss of form has brought criticism of Jones and his players, however Moody believes questions should instead be asked of the RFU.

“I don’t think a huge amount has changed [within the England squad],” Moody told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Land Rover.

“With the amount of workload that is being dumped on international players over the last two years, to then go on tour to South Africa was always going to be a huge ask.

“When you have Lions tour, World Cups, and the club season proliferated with internationals you have successful sides playing a lot of games.

“Invariably the large number of players come from those successful sides so you get a lot of players playing a huge number of games, which is why you only see one England international who is a centurion.

“Whereas you go to South Africa and there are six or eight, you go to Australia or New Zealand and God knows how many they have got, and Ireland seem the same.

“They manage their players to perform on the international stage, whereas the club game demands so much of our players that most of them make it to be fit enough to play on the international stage.

“I think it is important to manage players and not expect them to do so much. If we want to see our best team out there we have to manage our players better.”

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Moody hopes the calendar can be made less congested in the future to enable the best players to star in the big games.

“I know World Rugby are looking at bringing in an international season, which for me would make so much difference because you get away from players being put through the mill with their clubs,” he added.

“The amount of workload a player has to get through is huge.

“That international season where you could have club/domestic seasons, then the European window and then have an international season like New Zealand and the southern hemisphere sides do would be enormous for player welfare in the northern hemisphere.

“But that could take some time. Whether they could ever get to a place where they could move the Six Nations, I can’t see that happening, but I hope they do because it would make so much sense.

“All we want to do is see our best players on the pitch week in week out, and if managing the season is the way to do that, then do it!”

Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover has a heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite. Follow @LandRoverRugby

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Moody: England players need protection