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Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Meehan tips Moody for Six Nations return against France

Lewis Moody
Moody proved his fitness by coming on from the bench

Bath head coach Steve Meehan has tipped Lewis Moody to start England's Six Nations showdown against France at Twickenham next Saturday.

The flanker, who captained England during the autumn Tests, missed the opening Six Nations wins over Wales and Italy with a knee problem.

But he played 23 minutes as a replacement during Bath's 38-8 victory over Northampton on Saturday.

"If he's fit, I wouldn't be surprised if he ran out," said Meehan.

"Martin Johnson hinted at it in the week when he said that guys who have been around for 10 years with 70 caps [like Moody] have credits in the bank."

It was Moody's first game back since he got injured during Bath's Heineken Cup clash against Italian side Aironi last month and he was pleased to return.

"I felt good. It is nice to have a run-out," he said. "The knee is a little bit stiff, but I didn't feel it at all during the game.

"Fingers crossed, we have gone through everything, and full credit to the physios for everything they've done.

"Everyone has worked very hard - and I am going to be an excitable boy to be back in the England camp on Sunday."

Johnson must now decide whether Moody's limited game-time during the last five weeks is enough to give him a place in the team to face France.

And if Moody starts - probably at the expense of James Haskell - he would be favoured to reclaim the captaincy from centre Mike Tindall.

Pressed on whether he felt Johnson would select him against France, Moody added: "It is a decision for the week. It is nice to be fit and getting out on to the pitch and having some game-time.

"I was a little bit nervous, not for the knee, but just to be back out there and playing."

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see also
Bath 38-8 Northampton
19 Feb 11 |  English
Moody set for comeback for Bath
18 Feb 11 |  Bath
Moody targets France for comeback
21 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
England suffer Moody injury blow
18 Jan 11 |  English

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