Lewis Moody MBE (born 12 June 1978 in Ascot) is an English international rugby union rugby player who was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side. He is also known as Lewis "Mad Dog" Moody for his keenness to play rugby and his apparent lack of pain and self-conservation, he once suffered 2 concussions in a single match yet continued to play, he also happily dives for the ball as its being kicked from hand and also jumps on any lucky loose ball before getting bundled by other forwards.
In the Leicester Tigers youth team, he played flanker. He became the youngest Leicester Tigers' player to play a league game at 18 years and 94 days, a record now surpassed by Ollie Smith. He soon became established as Neil Back's understudy for the openside flanker shirt. Making the Tigers starting XV was difficult however, as internationals Back and Martin Corry took two of the three starting positions, with Paul Gustard and Will Johnson (younger brother of Martin) fighting for the remaining place.
He scored two tries for England Colts against Wales in April 1997, and was also a member of the side that won the Madrid Sevens at the end of that season. He also played in both of Tigers’ European Cup wins in 2001 and 2002 and was a member of the Tigers side in the four seasons between 1998-2002.
Moody made his England debut against Canada on 2 June 2001, when the established internationals Back and Richard Hill were touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions. He won a further two caps on the North American tour and scored a try against the US Eagles in San Francisco. He was then called up to the senior squad for the match against Ireland in Dublin in October 2001 and came on to win cap number four.
The arrival of New Zealand international openside Josh Kronfeld at Leicester in 2001, threatened to relegate Moody to third choice openside. However, Kronfeld failed to settle at the club and despite offers from Harlequins and Bath, Moody decided to stay.
Continued impressive form saw him challenge his teammate, Neil Back, for the coveted England No.7 shirt, starting in two Six Nations games the following season. Moody displaced Lawrence Dallaglio from the first choice England XV for the 2002/3 autumn internationals scoring a try in the game against New Zealand, but was injured against South Africa and Dallaglio regained his place. He returned to fitness and again featured in Clive Woodward's plans, but a further injury in the first Six Nations match against France threatened to curtail the rest of his season.
He was not considered for the summer tour due to that injury, but recovered well enough to play in the pre-world cup friendlies against France and Wales in the summer, scoring a try in the game at the Millennium Stadium.
He played a part in all seven World Cup matches and came on as a replacement in the final to replace Hill. He won the final line-out in the phase of play which led to Jonny Wilkinson’s winning drop goal. However, he had suffered a stress fracture of his foot which took a long time to heal and kept him out of the remaining 2003-4 season. Moody made a return for his club in October 2004, in the Heineken European Cup match against Calvisano. With the retirement of Dallaglio and Back, and Hill out injured, he started all three of England's autumn internationals. Moody remained an England mainstay into 2005. That year he became the first English player to be sent off at Twickenham, when he was dismissed for fighting during the autumn international with Leicester team-mate Alex Tuilagi.
Moody is known for the enthusiasm with which he plays the game, his willingness to chase down opponents and his ability to compete for possession at restarts. However, he has been criticised for a tendency to give away reckless penalties at the breakdown, which has been attributed by his supporters to his being played out of position at openside rather than blindside flanker. His preferred position is blindside flanker (no. 6), rather than openside (no. 7).
Having missed the 2007 Six Nations Championship through injury, Moody was selected as part of the England squad for the 2007 World Cup in France. Having been named to start a warm up match against France Moody suffered a further injury and consequently was left out of the starting line up for England's first three games of the campaign. Following a disappointing start to the tournament Moody was called into the starting line up for the final pool match against Tonga, where he was lauded for England's much improved competition at the breakdown. Moody kept his place in the starting line up for the quarter final against Australia where he 'outshone his illustrious opposite number' George Smith. Moody again started the semi final against France, and lined up against South Africa in the World Cup final on October 20th, which England narrowly lost to the southern hemi-spere side.