James Mortimer 20.Oct.2013Getty Images
Three times now this season Moody has been summoned up by the All Blacks, first called upon as cover during the Steinlager Series against France, while Wyatt Crockett’s injury during The Investec Rugby Championship saw the powerful loosehead required again.
Still to make his Test debut, Moody’s inclusion is due to the stocks at loosehead, with only Crockett able to put minor selection pressure on first choice number one Tony Woodcock – who put in a typical evergreen performance in Dunedin.
Tighthead prop, with the likes of Owen Franks, Charlie Faumuina and Ben Afeaki, is not considered a position of concern by the selectors.
Crusaders forward coach and former All Black Dave Hewett has always felt that the former wrestling champion was going to be ready despite playing just the solitary Investec Super Rugby season.
Moody has been rated as a powerful scrummager with Canterbury noting he was one of the strongest members of the squad, and with 22 Test caps Hewett is well placed to pass judgement.
The All Blacks scrums coach Mike Cron had also noted Moody’s potential, and assistant coach Ian Foster told Newstalk ZB today that the new loosehead’s adjustment to the changed engagement laws was another factor for his inclusion.
“According to the maestro (Cron), he reckons that he has a very, very strong upper body,” Foster said.
“(He) tends to be a very, very good scrummager. With a wrestling background and the new laws, we're very excited about where he can go.”