Rugby World Cup 2011: Captain Moody set for return

Moody to return from knee injury for England's second Pool B clash against Georgia on Sunday in Dunedin

martin johnson
Johnson's side take on Georgia in their second Pool B clash on Sunday PA Photos

martin johnson

Lewis Moody will return to captain England in their second Rugby World Cup clash against Georgia in Dunedin on Sunday after manager Martin Johnson announced nine changes to his starting line-up.

The Bath flanker missed England’s opening Pool B win over Argentina with a knee injury but has been given the green light to make his return this weekend.

“It is great to have Lewis back,” said Johnson. “This is a chance for a lot of guys to play. That was always the plan:that people would have to play and be ready, to give them a chance for the second half of the pool.”

Elsewhere, loosehead prop Matt Stevens of Saracens and hooker Dylan Hartley of Northampton Saints are promoted from the bench after making an impact against the Pumas, while locks Simon Shaw and Tom Palmer – both of Stade Francais – also start.

“Courtney [Lawes] is out for a couple of weeks but we would have played the other two locks anyway,” said Johnson.

Try-scorer against Argentina Ben Youngs makes his first start at No9, with his Leicester Tigers colleague Toby Flood alongside him at fly half.

And London Irish centre Shontayne Hape is the other change in the back line, replacing Mike Tindall at inside centre.

England: Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Shontayne Hape, Delon Armitage, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Matt Stevens, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Simon Shaw, Tom Palmer, Tom Wood, Lewis Moody (captain), Nick Easter. Replacements: Steve Thompson, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, James Haskell, Joe Simpson, Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Banahan.

Georgia: Revaz Gigauri, Irakli Machkhaneli, David Kacharava, Tedo Zibzibadze, Alexander Todua, Merab Kvirikashvili, Irakli Abuseridze (captain), David Khinchagishvili, Jaba Bregvadze, David Kubriashvili, Ilia Zedginidze, Vakhtang Maisuradze, Shalva Sutiashvili, Mamuka Gorgodze, Dimitri Basilaia. Replacements: Akvsenti Giorgadze, David Zirakashvili, Levan Datunashvili, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Bidzina Samkharadze, Givi Berishvili, Lasha Khmaladze.

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