Lewis Moody backs Martin Johnson to stay England boss

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Moody 'haunted' by England World Cup performance

Former England captain Lewis Moody insists Martin Johnson is the right man to lead England to the 2015 World Cup.

Moody, who retired from internationals last month, feels England will learn from this year's event in New Zealand when they struggled to the last eight.

"It will always be a thing that haunts me," he said. "When you are captain you take it all very personally.

"The most important thing is that there are no knee-jerk reactions. It is essential for me Johnno continues."

England's World Cup campaign was blighted by and their performances on the pitch failed to reach the levels expected of them, leading to speculation about Johnson's future as manager.

"There was certainly a degree of naivety and to allow things to transpire the way they did was very naive and simply wrong," admitted 33-year-old Moody, who won 71 England caps and played in the World Cup-winning team of 2003, also appearing in the 2007 competition.

"That has happened now, it's frustrating for me as a player and someone like Jonny [Wilkinson] who's been around the England set-up for a very long time, especially as it was my last involvement with England, but I can look back on a career that I've enjoyed thoroughly and that is the most important thing for me."

Johnson has had a mixed run of results since taking charge in the summer of 2008.

After winning his first match 39-13 against Pacific Islanders his team lost their next three games, while having been runners-up then third in his first two Six Nations campaigns he finally guided England to the title this year, although they were denied the Grand Slam by Ireland.

Moody, who began his career with Leicester and spent 14 years with the Tigers before joining his current club Bath in 2010, believes the England team can take the disappointment of the World Cup and use it to their advantage for the next staging of the event, which will be on home soil in 2015.

"It is something to look at and learn from," he said. "We have always learnt from defeats, whether it was the first Test loss on Australia last summer or the loss to Ireland in the Grand Slam game.

"I think this World Cup can be very important for England going forward, like 1999 was for Clive's [Woodward's] England and 2007 was for Graham Henry's New Zealand. Those coaches and teams subsequently went on to win the next World Cup.

"You can't guarantee that England will go on and win in 2015 but they will ultimately be better from learning from this experience together, Johnno and the players. The vast majority of this squad are young enough to be there in 2015.

"It was right I retired when I did and also right for England to find a new captain to take them through to 2015. I would dearly love to be 25 now and take that team on to the next World Cup but unfortunately time catches up with you as a sportsman and after 13 seasons with England it's the right time to call it a day."

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