World Cup Diary – Ashton gambles on Rees staying fit

Brian Ashton has made a very confusing move by dismissing two openside flankers from the squad – Magnus Lund and Andy Hazell – which leaves only one specialist number 7, Tom Rees.

Rees has always been the standout favourite for the position, but dismissing the other two players leaves only Lewis Moody as backup.  Moody is not a natural openside flanker, and is better used on the blindside.  He is aggressive and makes plenty of tackles, but is not hugely effective at the breakdown and doesn’t have much gas.

For me, Moody is somewhere between a blindside and an openside flanker, but is not world-class at either.  Rees is outstanding, but let’s hope he doesn’t get injured, or we’ll have to watch Moody charging in aimlessly at restarts and throwing unnecessary punches.