Ashton vows to repay Lancaster's faith
August 6, 2013
Chris Ashton carries out his customary swan dive against New Zealand © PA Photos
Saracens winger Chris Ashton has vowed to re-find his best form ahead of next season and repay the faith shown in him by England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Ashton was retained in England's Elite Player Squad last Thursday despite a return of just two tries in his last 17 appearances for the national side. This is a stark contrast to when he originally pulled on the England jersey with him crossing for nine tries in his first nine Tests.
He was left out of the squad for England's summer tour to Argentina with Lancaster opting to rest a number of players who ran out during the Six Nations. And Ashton is adamant the rest has done him good and he is relishing the chance to run out next term.
"Years of club and country catch up on you and my body actually needed the rest," Ashton said. "When Stuart advised a few of us to recharge our batteries over the summer, I was determined to make the best of it.
"Sometimes you must step back and give your body a chance. I'm feeling sharp again -- fit and ready to fly out of the blocks."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games