Adam Ashley-Cooper wary of ‘mongrel’ Chris Ashton
12:04 16 November 2012
Adam Ashley-Cooper has placed Australia on red alert over England’s “mongrel” winger Chris Ashton.
Ashton returns for tomorrow’s Cook Cup clash at Twickenham after missing Saturday’s 54-12 rout of Fiji through suspension.
The 25-year-old has plundered three tries in three Tests against the Wallabies, including two on the last meeting between the rivals in 2010.
On that day he ran nearly the length of the field to score one of the greatest tries seen at Twickenham - an effort that Ashley-Cooper recalls vividly.
“It was a good try - I remember it! Ashton’s a real opportunist,” the Wallaby centre said.
“You can see his league background in the way he plays. He’s a mongrel player, and I don’t mean that in a negative way.
“He’s physical and loves getting his hands on the ball. That’s what rugby’s all about.
“He has a high workrate and gets around the field looking for the ball. He’s a real threat.
“He plays with a lot of desperation and I’m sure there are a lot of wingers who model their game on him.
“We have to be aware of where he is on the field and how close he is to the ball, making sure he doesn’t get his hands on it.
“We’ve got (winger) Digby Ioane coming back and they’re similar in terms of work rate off the ball.”
Australia are smarting from their 33-6 mauling by France in Paris last Saturday and Ashley-Cooper insists restoring battered pride is the key objective.
“England against Australia is always a special fixture. Unfortunately we lost here in 2010,” he said.
“Absolutely it’s about restoring pride, for ourselves and the supporters
“I love playing in Twickenham, a lot of our guys do. There are a lot of Australians living over here so we have strong support.
“You can feel that throughout the week. We don’t want to let our supporters here and back home down.”