Six Nations 2012: Farrell leads the tributes to retiring Moody

England assistant coach Andy Farrell praises Lewis Moody after World Cup winner was forced to retire due to a shoulder injury

England assistant coach Andy Farrell has led the tributes to 2003 World Cup winner Lewis Moody, labelling the now retired flanker among the best players to ever don the Red Rose shirt.

Moody, 33, won 74 caps in a career that spanned 16 years, captaining England 11 times including four matches at last year’s World Cup, after which he took the decision to announce his international retirement ahead of the Six Nations.

A shoulder problem has now forced Moody – dubbed ‘Mad Dog’ for his commitment and fearless attitude on the pitch – to hang up his boots for good.

And Farrell, who played with Moody at the 2007 World Cup, was full of praise for the ex-Leicester and Bath back row.

“He was an absolutely fearless player – one of the best that we’ve produced,” said Farrell. “He will be remembered as mad. A fighter who has total disrespect for his own body, who only knows one way.

“There’s a few mad ones in league, but not quite as mad as Moodos.

“I honestly don’t think I’ve played with another player who is that committed and cared so much for his team-mates as well.

“I could speak about Moodos all day. Everyone knows the commitment he had to playing the game, and not just the commitment but the enjoyment he had from the way he played the game. He was a special type of player.

“Before I’d played with him I knew what type of player he was but not until you’ve trained with him on the field and played with him could you really stand back and marvel at what he is about as a person.

“He was unfortunate to get a lot of injuries in his time but he definitely wouldn’t change that because it made him what he was.

“Having played with him, knowing how he played on through injury, showed just what a tough bloke he was. I don’t think we actually knew the half of what he was going through at times.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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