England v Argentina, Rugby World Cup, September 10
Ashton hungry for limelight
September 9, 2011
Ashton is determined to make an impact on the global stage © Getty Images
Chris Ashton is optimistic England will play an attacking brand of rugby which will enable him and the team to make a mark in the global showpiece.
England start their campaign against Argentina on Saturday in Dunedin with many pundits predicting a close, suffocating encounter, dominated by the two large packs. But Ashton is hoping England can rediscover the expansive and ambitious attacking rugby that helped the Northampton winger bag four tries against Italy during a successful Six Nations campaign.
"It will definitely be the highlight of my career so far and I hope I can make people in other countries sit up and take notice," he told the Daily Mail. "That's why we're all here, to entertain. That is what I'll be aiming to do on a personal level, but that can only come if the whole side is going well."
England struggled to rediscover the attacking tempo and fluency in warm-up games against Wales and Ireland and Ashton was a marginal figure during the victory in Dublin. But he is confident England have the ability to breach the best defences in the competition.
"I'm praying for an open game, so I can get my hands on the ball," Ashton said. "People keep asking me if I think other teams are working me out -- they've been asking me that since I scored four tries against Italy.
"I was asked that loads of times in the Six Nations and I'm being asked again now when I haven't even played a game here yet! All I can say is, other teams can try to work me out, but it is too hard to do.
"It is hard to mark me because I'm on the wing, but if the opposition want to do that, it will just leave gaps somewhere else. I'm not going to change the way I play so we'll see if teams can stop me."
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