Moody: No easy groups at Rugby World Cup

Lewis Moody came on as a substitute when England won the 2003 World Cup final.

Story highlights

  • Lewis Moody tells CNN there are no easy games at the Rugby World Cup
  • The England captain is out of his team's opening game on Saturday
  • Their opponents in the Dunedin clash will be Argentina
England captain Lewis Moody has dismissed suggestions his team have been handed an easy draw for the group stage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Moody, 33, is out of his team's opening match with Argentina in Dunedin on Saturday, as England look to reach a third successive World Cup final and repeat their victorious campaign at Australia 2003.
Argentina, who finished third at the 2007 tournament in France, look set to present Martin Johnson's team with their toughest test of the opening round, with England's archrivals Scotland and minnows Georgia and Romania making up the rest of Pool B.
"No, there's no such thing," the Flanker told CNN when asked if his team's group was easy. "There really isn't, I mean people will say that but it's certainly not the case.
"Argentina finished third in the last World Cup, Scotland have beaten South Africa ... We have a very big challenge in this tournament and first is making sure that we come out of the group in as strong a position as we can against tough opposition.
"You know it's just great that every nation that's involved in this World Cup is really lifting their standards and you know that every game you're going to be playing is going to be tough."
The 2011 World Cup will see Russia make their debut at the quadrennial competition, and Moody is convinced the sport's continued expansion into new territories bodes well for the future.
Who will win the Rugby World Cup?
Who will win the Rugby World Cup?

    JUST WATCHED

    Who will win the Rugby World Cup?

MUST WATCH

Who will win the Rugby World Cup? 04:16
"More people are getting involved and will take it [rugby] back to their countries and, if they've done well, they will have all that support and it will grow their fan base in those countries," Mooday added. "It's great for the sport."
Rugby World Cup crossbar challenge
Rugby World Cup crossbar challenge

    JUST WATCHED

    Rugby World Cup crossbar challenge

MUST WATCH

Rugby World Cup crossbar challenge 01:42
Moody has already been a world champion once in his career, as part of the team which, captained by current coach Johnson, defeated hosts Australia to lift the Webb-Ellis trophy in 2003.
Along with fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who kicked the drop goal which won the final eight years ago, Moody is one of only two 2011 World Cup squad members who played in that historic match in Sydney.
"I remember being very nervous for a vast majority [of the final] because I was sat on the bench and all your anticipation, your anxieties, they are all with you until step across that white line on the pitch.
"When I did get on, I remember Ben Kay calling the line out with a minute to go with me at the back and, thankfully, Steve Thompson threw it, I caught it, the ball went to Matt Dawson and the rest is history.
"Dawson managed to get the ball to Jonny, who then kicked the drop goal. It was an incredible occasion and one that will stick with you for very fond reasons."