Lewis Moody has recalled the day World Cup-winning Martin Johnson laid out the player he’d later name England captain.
Moody’s desire to impress on his return after injury in 2004 caused a flare-up with the then Tigers captain.
“It was my first session and I was extra keen, trying to do everything and hit everything,” Moody told The Sun.
“Tempers flared and ‘Johnno’ and I had a little coming together. He gave me a little dink and I gave him a little dink – but his hurt a lot more!
“It’s just typical training ground stuff. You need that friendly rivalry.”
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LIST | 5 times Martin Johnson proved he was rugby’s greatest captain
1. The moment of World Cup victory
Australia 17-20 England, 22 November 2003
Johnson, like all great players, delivered when the stakes were at their highest and arguably saved his best England game for last.
His performance in the World Cup final was exceptional – dominant in the line-out and brutally effective in the tight exchanges.
When England threatened to lose a game they should have won handsomely, he galvanised his troops for one final push.
Clear-headed enough to set up the winning position in the 100th minute, his leadership brought ultimate glory.