May 24 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Stuart Lancaster has selected Chris Ashton for the special qualities that have made him one of the best wingers in world rugby.
The Saracens star, who was suspended for the opening autumn international against Fiji last weekend, is the only change to the England side ahead of the Cook Cup clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
He replaces Harlequins ace Hugo Monye while Charlie Sharples switches to the left after scoring in the 54-12 destruction of the Pacific Islanders.
Last time out against the Wallabies in 2010 Ashton bagged a hat-trick of tries including a stunning 75-yard dash to score.
Asked about his return to the side and Sharples switching to the left wing, head coach Lancaster said: “We’re looking for a bit of what Chris Ashton delivers in matches. He chases the ball, creates line breaks, makes opportunities for others and takes them himself.
“As for Charlie, he really merits keeping his place and he is happy playing on the left wing.”
Ashton’s club-mate Alex Goode keeps his place at full-back after an impressive showing against Fiji and Lancaster said: “He’s a great footballer and he provides us with extra organisation in our backline.
“He’s a great communicator with the backs and he has the ability to move defenders around and make breaks himself.
“It’s a step up for him but he’s playing well at the moment.”