The Bath flanker vowed he will not take a backward step at Eden Park - and where Moody treads, the England team must follow.
It was his elevation to the captaincy against France two years ago that kick-started the development of the current team, many of whom now rate Moody as the best captain they have played under.
At stake is a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, which was England's minimum requirement before the tournament began, against either Wales or Ireland.
Standing opposite them at kick-off will be a France side in an apparent state of disarray but with the potential to be world beaters.
Moody's message is that whatever France side turns up at Eden Park, England have the quality to repeat their 2003 and 2007 World Cup victories over Les Bleus.
"Never fear," said Moody.
"Fear to me says you're worried about a tackle or you're concerned you might get injured.
"They're physical hard games playing the French. At this level you expect it to be an intense encounter. You have to be prepared for that but you're also prepared to deliver that intensity as well.
"You are aware what a French side is always capable of, you have that in the back of your mind - but we know the quality of rugby we are capable of playing.
"That focus on ourselves has been very important this week because sometimes you can get carried away at World Cups by pressure situations.
"There's a lot of pressure put on you by yourselves, by the coaches, by everyone else, the wider world. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.
"You play it with a hunger and a desire that's unmatched and you then counter that with the discipline when it's needed.
"We're just excited now to get out on the pitch and put in a performance we know we're capable of."
Discipline has been England's Achilles heel so far this World Cup and Moody recognises the need to set the right example - something he may not always been known for.
Moody, nicknamed 'Mad Dog', became the first England player to be sent off at Twickenham for fighting with Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi, his then Leicester team-mate.
A nine-week ban followed and Moody began to visit a sports psychologist in a bid to control what he euphemistically described as "enthusiasm".
"A while ago I had to master my enthusiasm," Moody said.
"From being a slightly young man with far too much energy and exuberance it was something I had to deal with.
"Being captain you take more responsibility on so you always have to make sure it's in check. You also have to make sure you have the right enthusiasm and energy.
"I do like being in the thick of it and so do most of the forwards. But you have to show the right discipline at the right time."
England beat France at the semi-final stage in both 2003 and 2007, with Jonny Wilkinson's boot a key factor in both matches, but it was Toby Flood who was at the helm for this year's Six Nations win.
Martin Johnson has shifted his selection policy by naming them both to start against the French, with Wilkinson at fly-half and Flood at inside centre.
England had settled on a policy of selecting a powerful ball-carrier and solid defender at inside centre instead of a second playmaker.
But Flood's inclusion offers England a second kicking option and improved distribution which should help Manu Tuilagi, Chris Ashton, Mark Cueto and Ben Foden.
"It is a bold decision ... to start us both," Flood wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
"We have not begun a match together since the Six Nations game against Wales in 2010, so it is important that we strike up an instant relationship again.
"The one big advantage is that we know each other's games inside out having played together for so long when we were both at Newcastle.
"Training has gone really well. We have been trying out options and plays and it has been pretty slick.
"The decision to play two fly-halves enables us to share the responsibility for kicking when we are in our own half."
Flood expects Wilkinson to retain the kicking duties, despite his poor record of only nine successful strikes from 20 during the World Cup.
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