|Weight||102kg (16st 0lb)|
Few players have won every honour in the game but Lewis Moody MBE, who led England to epic wins over Australia in Sydney in June last year and at Twickenham five months later, is not only among that elite group but also became the sixteenth player to make 70 or more appearances for his country against Scotland in Auckland in October.
He had broken Neil Back’s record for an England flanker against Wales at Twickenham last August and went on to lead his country for the eleventh time in the RWC quarter final against France after a knee injury forced him to miss two warm up games and the opening tournament match against Argentina. A medial collateral ligament injury sustained nine months earlier had prevented him from appearing in the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Audacious and athletic, he led England initially against France in March last year, having played in all seven matches in the 2003 RWC triumph. His longevity as well as his excellence was reflected by 2009-10 being his fourteenth and final season as a Leicester Tigers’ first team squad member.
Lewis made his senior debut against Boroughmuir while still at Oakham School in August 1996 and became the youngest Tiger to figure in a league match. He switched to Bath Rugby on a three-year contract last season but spent time on the sidelines after suffering a bruised eye socket in his fifth game, against Gloucester.
An incredible seven Premiership titles and three Heineken Cup finals are on his CV, along with his first time captaincy of the Tigers against Leeds Carnegie in 2007-08 and a joint benefit with teammate Geordan Murphy in 2008-09. The book closed on his Leicester career after 217 appearances that brought 32 tries.
Lewis also won three caps for the British & Irish Lions six years ago and would have made more Test appearances except for a series of injuries, including the broken ankle in January 2009 that restricted him to one start and three on the bench in the final four months of the season.
He went to Argentina with the England squad in June 2009 but did not appear in the Test at Salta. Lewis replaced the injured Tom Rees, of London Wasps, in the England Elite Squad that autumn.
Before his international debut against Canada ten years ago, he had represented England Under 18s, Colts and Under 21s and then first appeared for the A team alongside other debutants Steve Borthwick, Jason Robinson, Jamie Noon, Andy Goode and Tom May against Wales A at Wrexham in February 2001.
Ascot-born Lewis reached the 50-cap landmark when England beat Australia 12-10 in the 2007 RWC quarter final. He had appeared in all four Investec Challenge matches in the autumn of 2006 but missed the subsequent RBS 6 Nations Championship, having required shoulder surgery after Leicester's historic Heineken Cup victory over Munster.
His first touring experience with England was to the Southern Hemisphere 13 years ago and he went on to figure in all seven RWC matches in 2007. Looking back, Lewis spent his early days with Bracknell RFC from mini level to his mid teens.
He said: “I started off in the centre when I was a kid and played there until I was 16 and loved playing Sevens and having a good run at defenders.” His scent for the try line was well illustrated with his maiden hat trick in Leicester’s 57-3 win over Bourgoin in the Heineken Cup at Welford Road in December 2006.
England: 45 points – 9T Lions: 5 points – 1T
England: 2001 C(1,2),USA, I(R), R, SA(R) 2002 I(R), W, It, Arg, NZ, A, SA 2003 F, W, F, F(R) World Cup – G(R), SA, Sam(R), U, W, F(R), A(R) 2004 C, SA, A 2005 F, I, It, S, A, NZ, Sam 2006 W, It, S, F, I A(1), NZ, Arg, SA(R), SA(R) 2007 W(R) World Cup - USA(R), SA(R), Sam(R), Tg, A, F, SA 2008 W 2009 A, Arg, NZ 2010 W, It, I, S(R), F, A(1,2), NZ, A, SA 2011 W, World Cup - G, R, S, F
Lions: 2005 Arg, NZ( 2,3)
Last updated: October 10, 2011