Saracens star Chris Ashton targets England return after brace against Worcester
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Saracens wing Chris Ashton is keen to regain a place in the England squad under new national boss Eddie Jones after scoring his first two tries of the season in Saturday’s Premiership victory over Worcester Warriors.
It has been 18 months since Ashton won the last of his 39 caps for his country. But Jones, who has replaced Stuart Lancaster as the Red Rose’s head coach, is giving all of the English players a clean slate – and Ashton showed his finishing skills as the league leaders beat Worcester 48-18 at their Allianz Park home in Hendon.
“I like the fight of it,” said Ashton. “The day I look at myself and think I don’t want to get into England or I am not bothered by England or Saracens is probably the day that I will retire.
“I want to fight to be the best player in my team, or in my position, and that is something I hope will always burn inside me. I want to get back into the England team and I hope that will never stop.
“I’m 28 and I would like to think I’m in and around my best body-wise. I’m in a very good place and I’ve been really happy with how I’ve played this season, and so have the coaches.
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“I’ve had experience of good and bad ends of involvement with England – not making cuts and things like that – but it’s something you can’t dwell on too much.
“The important thing for me is Saracens and if Eddie thinks I’m the right man for the job then so be it. If not I just want to carry on playing well here.
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“You don’t know what Eddie is looking for in a wing. Nobody knows what he is thinking, but I hope these two tries have helped.”
Ben Spencer, Jackson Wray, Schalk Brits and Ben Ransom also touched down as Saracens ran in six tries on Saturday.
They were all converted by 35-year-old fly-half Charlie Hodgson, who added two penalties and became the first player to reach 2,500 points in the Premiership, days after announcing he will retire at the end of the season to become Sarries’ head of recruitment.