NEWS Joe Moody back to full fitness and eyes on Rugby World Cup

Joe Moody back to full fitness and eyes on Rugby World Cup

Joe Moody All Blacks ANS 2021 – PA.jpg Source: Alamy

New Zealand and Crusaders loafer supporter Joe Moody has overcome his injury problems and revealed he still wants to play in next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Moody suffered a severe anterior cruciate ligament injury during the Crusaders’ Super Rugby Pacific match against the Blues in Christchurch in April and has been struggling to return to full fitness.

The 34-year-old has battled multiple injuries in recent years which, combined with his age, has led his detractors to question whether he will ever represent his country again.

keen to bounce back

But that hasn’t swayed Moody, who remains determined to compete internationally again.

“One hundred percent, it’s been on the back of my mind throughout my recovery, and that’s part of why I’ve been vigilant and making sure I’m doing the right thing,” Moody told Stuff.

“Because that’s my goal for 2023. I want to be in the World Cup squad. I want to be the best Joe Moody you’ve ever seen. I just want to be at my best and that’s definitely my goal.”

Moody has been plagued by injuries in recent years, and in addition to his knee injury, he has also been sidelined for extended periods due to eye injuries, shoulder surgery and broken fingers.

He has played in just six Super Rugby Pacific games in 2022, entering his fifth game of the season after spraining his foot in the Crusaders’ 100th game against the Hurricanes last season.

Despite being sidelined for the past eight months, Moody can’t wait to get back on the field.

“Honestly, the knee wasn’t an issue. Everything went well,” he said. “It’s just the rest of the rig telling me I’m back now.”

In that game against the Blues, however, he was unfamiliar with the knee injury he suffered when he was forced off late in the first half, and did not appreciate the seriousness of his situation.

“I just thought it might be a little adjustment, I might have a week or two [off]’ he reveals. ‘Then she was a little shocked by the system when they told me it was a nine-month setup.

“Not the same experience. Honestly, it was probably one of the worst injuries I’ve ever had in terms of rehab. But I’ve ticked the boxes and done everything right, so I think it’s in a good place right now. A very good state.”

It helps that he’s not alone in his recovery, as Crusaders lock Mitchell Dunshea is also on the mend after suffering a ruptured medial collateral ligament, while Ethan Blackadder was later added to the casualty list with a dislocated shoulder.

“One day at a time, I guess,” Moody said of the process.

focus on recovery

“Honestly, getting up and focusing on what I had to get done. I never really got too worried or down on things.

“Just keep looking forward to the end result, knowing I have to tick things right or I’m not going to be on the other end of the spectrum in the state I need to be.”

read more: New Zealand: NZR already discussing appointment of next All Blacks coach, says Mark Robinson

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