ENGLAND’S PLANS for the Six Nations have been hit by a serious injury to captain Lewis Moody, who will definitely miss the games against Wales and Italy.

Moody twisted his knee in Bath’s win over Aironi on Saturday and although the club stressed it was “nothing serious” after the game a scan yesterday revealed more damage than was thought.

And now the prognosis is four to six weeks out which leaves him targeting the clash with France at Twickenham on 26 February.

Bath Rugby can confirm that Lewis has suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee, and is expected to be out of action for up to six weeks.

Head coach, Steve Meehan, said “Lewis took a knock to his knee at the weekend, which is slightly more serious than first thought. It is frustrating for us to lose him at this stage in the season, but it does mean that other players in the squad get the opportunity to come on in his place and show us what they can do. We will of course make sure he receives the best medical attention to get him back on the field as and when he’s ready.”

Martin Johnson, England Team Manager, commented, “It is always disappointing to lose a player and leader of Lewis’ calibre but as I have consistently said good teams adapt to injuries and that is what we intend to do. While this could still mean Lewis plays a role in the RBS 6 Nations it does mean that another player gets the chance to step up and make it hard for him to get the shirt back.”

An injury replacement will be named on Monday 24th January, along with all other injury replacements, once the outcome of round 6 of the Heineken European Cup has been played. The England captain will be chosen and announced in the week leading up to the first game in line with the usual approach. Lewis will remain with his club for his rehabilitation which will happen in close consultation with the England medical team.