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Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Friday, 18 February 2011

Lewis Moody makes Bath bench for Northampton match

Lewis Moody
Moody took over the England captaincy at the end of last year's Six Nations

England captain Lewis Moody will return to action from the bench for Bath when they take on Northampton on Saturday.

The 32-year-old has been out for five weeks since injuring his knee in a Heineken Cup match and missed England's first two Six Nations games.

But a swift return ahead of the crunch clash with France beckons if he can prove his fitness for his club.

Tom Croft also returns on the bench for Leicester while Andrew Sheridan starts for Sale after missing the Italy match.

Moody suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament against Aironi on 15 January but was quick to target England's home match against France on 26 February for his return to the international fold.

If he's anything less than 100% fit then that could be detrimental for the rest of the season and we don't to put anyone at that risk

Steve Meehan

In his absence Mike Tindall has taken the captain's armband as England beat Wales 26-19 in Cardiff and Italy 59-13 at Twickenham.

Should Moody come through his return for Bath unscathed, England manager Martin Johnson will have to decide if he is ready to return to the side at Twickenham next Saturday.

"We know the style of player he is and he doesn't hold anything back," said Bath coach Steve Meehan when discussing Moody's possible return earlier in the week.

"If he's anything less than 100% fit then that could be detrimental for the rest of the season, and we don't want to put anyone at that risk."

Meehan also welcomes back two other England players for the Premiership clash with Northampton at The Rec.

Matt Banahan gets a start on the wing after coming off the bench in England's thrashing of Italy while prop David Wilson joins Moody among the replacements.

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see also
England 59-13 Italy
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales 19-26 England
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England suffer Moody injury blow
18 Jan 11 |  English
Northampton 31-10 Bath
17 Sep 10 |  English

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