Ashton eyes England tour
March 22, 2010
Chris Ashton was not overawed by the occasion on his Test debut © Getty Images
Chris Ashton has set his sights on England's tour to Australia in the summer after "slotting in" for his Test debut against France on Saturday night.
The Northampton wing was not overawed by the occasion and played a role in creating the only try of the game for his club team-mate Ben Foden, himself making his full Test debut. England will play two Tests against Australia, in Perth on June 12 and Sydney on June 19, and three midweek games, against the Australian Barbarians and New Zealand Maori.
"It is what every player wants to do and I have got a chance to do that now and I am not going to let it go," he said. "It is a different scale, playing in front of 80,000 people at the Stade de France. This is where I want to be every time that England play. I felt as if I just slotted in.
"I am looking forward to the tour. I have keep playing at Northampton and hopefully I will get onto it."
Veteran centre Mike Tindall made his international return in the game and was quick to praise the influence of Foden as an attacking force. Tindall admitted that England had a brief to express themselves in Paris and also that they had focused too closely on results in the past.
"What we spoke about this week was that sometimes winning is not everything. You need to win with a performance and sometimes we focus too much on just getting a win," he said. "We had more freedom to go out there and express ourselves. The back three were outstanding.
"Ben Foden definitely has a big international future ahead of him. He helps to promote the game we want to play. If a kick goes in I know I'll work back becuase there's a good chance he'll run it. It helps you to get your game going."
England manager Martin Johnson was widely criticised for not selecting Ashton and Foden in the early stages of the tournament despite their excellent form. Dave Ellis, the France defence coach, believes that he will have to "bite the bullet" if he wants to see continued improvement.
"England have to bite the bullet and throw some young players in," Ellis said. "They have a tough tour ahead but they have nothing to lose in the southern hemisphere. They should give young players a go and see how they come out at the other end. Whether they have got enough time to get it right for the World Cup, only time will tell.
"They aren't far away from being a good side. They had a go when they had nothing to lose but there is no good waiting until the championship is gone to do that."
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