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
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup