'Ashton is one of best finishers in game'
October 18, 2013
Chris Ashton should start for England during the autumn Tests © PA Photos
England's Andy Farrell has described Saracens flyer Chris Ashton as "one of the best finishers in the game".
Ashton struggled for form last season and scored just two tries in his last 17 appearances for England. But he has started the 2013-14 season in promising fashion.
The Saracens flyer was retained in England's Elite Player Squad for the autumn Tests and will face Toulouse at Wembley on Friday evening. Ashton now looks to be favourite to start on the right flank for England in their autumn Test series and Farrell was full of praise for the winger.
"Chris has dealt with things superbly well," Farrell said. "He's had to realise that the reason the scrutiny is on him is because he has done superbly well in the past.
"Everyone has a slight slump but he's been able to get back on the horse. There are a lot of things that have improved in his game, but the main thing is the intent.
"You can see the fire and the hunger back in him. He wants on get on with it without making any excuses. He is letting his rugby do the talking and that is what we all want to see."
While Ashton is far from the finished article - he still looks vulnerable in defence at times - Farrell believes his try-scoring instincts set him apart.
"Without a shadow of doubt he is one of the best finishers in the game," he said. "He knows what he must work on, but his X-factor is his ability to score tries and be in the right place all the time. He has shown intent in his game and he has never lost that this season.
"Even though he has adapted his game a little bit, whenever there is a break, whether he scores it or not, he is there. You want a wing with try-scoring ability, no doubt about that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery