Chris Ashton ‘would love’ England return after watching World Cup run
Sale winger Chris Ashton watched on with jealousy and a hint of sorrow as England went all the way to the final of the World Cup and shows he would love a recall to Eddie Jones’ team.
Northampton man and the former Saracens scored 20 attempts in 44 appearances for England but hauled for family motives from Jones’ World Cup group.
He says he’d welcome the opportunity to make another comeback for its 2020 Six Nations after acknowledging he feels unfulfilled at international level.
“When I got in, I planned to be there for some little while,” Ashton said. “I’ve got 44 caps and that I hoped for a whole lot more.”
Ashton had called time on his international career in 2016 by moving to Toulon but, after scoring a hat-trick from them to the Barbarians he returned from France 2 years later and got an England recall.
Lifting the lid on his decision to snub the World Cup,” Ashton says that he was not ready to behave as backup to Jack Nowell and wing regulars Jonny May.
“I did struggle being away from my family in the time but that I did not mind because I wished to play for England again,” he explained.
“The day before we were due to meet up, I could not make my mind up. that was it, my wife got pregnant. She had been expected around the time of their World Cup final.
“But if I had been Jonny May, it could have been a really different scenario. My phone call with Eddie had been,’Jack (Nowell) is injured, you are in’. I’d need to get gone, if I had been Jonny.
“The warm-up games were nice clearly but if the tournament kicked away, I thought that I probably ought to have gone – although that’s simple .
“Sitting at home on the couch, with the household viewing it on TV, it’s easy to feel just like this.
“If Eddie rang I’d definitely love to play with again. But I’ll be 33 in March so we will see.”
Ashton is currently hoping to grow his own Heineken Champions Cup record haul of 39 tries when the Sharks sponsor La Rochelle on Sunday.
Beaten in their opening form at Glasgow, Sale are boosted by the return of Tom Curry and World Cup finalists Faf de Klerk and Ashton says that has given the team a lift.
“Faf is indeed vital to any team that he can be in, especially here because a lot of what is happening in Sale and the way we are starting to roll together was driven by himpersonally,” he explained.
“He to come back – and Tom creating the way he’s – you may notice the complete difference in training the previous couple of days.
“There is so much energy out of the pair of these and now a lot of experience in them equally.
“Teams I observed last weekend were raised by their players coming back in the World Cup and I expect them to do the same this weekend”