Lewis Moody’s hopes of captaining England against France at Twickenham tomorrow have been wrecked by a recurrence of his knee injury.
The Bath flanker missed England’s opening RBS 6 Nations victories against Wales and Italy after being sidelined for five weeks with ligament damage.
And Moody, capped 66 times by England, is not fit enough to feature in Martin Johnson’s 22-man squad for Saturday’s pivotal showdown.
England team: B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), M Tindall (Gloucester Rugby, capt), S Hape (Bath Rugby), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Wood (Northampton), J Haskell (Francais), N Easter (Harlequins). Replacements: S Thompson (Leeds Carnegie), A Corbisiero (London Irish), S Shaw (London Wasps), H Fourie (Leeds), D Care (Harlequins), J Wilkinson (Toulon), M Banahan (Bath Rugby).