Due to the coverage in the Times newspaper today, we feel it appropriate to publish Lewis Moody's personal statement in response. Lewis is a key part of the senior player group at Bath Rugby and continues to make significant contributions on and off the pitch, helping to keep us improving and to create a performance driven, winning culture here at the club.
"I have seen the stories in today's Times with their interpretation of the leaked post Rugby World Cup (RWC) reviews. Once again it is deeply disappointing to see players' feedback aimed at improving England rugby, and which we were promised would remain confidential and anonymous, being put in the public domain for political purposes.
"I have particularly seen those stories about me personally and wanted to comment. Captaining England was, and remains, the ultimate honour for me and I accepted that honour knowing all the scrutiny that came with it. I am confident I did the job to the absolute best of my ability but if some of the players thought that was not enough I will have to learn to live with that. I have always been my own fiercest critic and have already been honest that there were some things I wish I had done differently at the World Cup, but I have learnt from the experience and hope others can do the same.
"I put my body on the line for the lads, the team and England every time I played and anyone who has watched me play knows that I give everything on the field and have always prioritised rugby ahead of everything else, including financial reward. I have only ever undertaken personal commercial activities in my own time and I'm comfortable I got that balance right at all times. Where I had to be involved in commercial conversations with the RFU it was as captain, working with the RPA, representing the best interests of the players, not for any personal gain. I do not think anyone who knows me would think differently.
"The next few months will be vital for English rugby and I hope the opportunity is seized to use player feedback for positive change not negative recriminations and political games. I have retired from England and am now focussed on Bath Rugby and playing my rugby in the same way I always have with passion and commitment. It is time we looked forward not back."
For all media enquiries please contact:
Helen Bayes - Press Officer, Bath Rugby