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
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league