International Rugby

Ashton: I had no point to prove to Eddie Jones

Chris Ashton insists he did not have a point to prove to Eddie Jones after starring with a hat-trick in the Barbarians’ 63-45 win over England at Twickenham.

The flying winger scored 19 tries in 39 appearances for England, but has not represented his country since June 2014.

Ashton is currently ineligible for selection after opting to join Toulon, where he broke the Top 14 try-scoring record in his first season in France, but the 31-year-old spoke in the build-up to Sunday’s game of his desire to rekindle his international career.

Jones included Ashton in his first England squad for the 2016 Six Nations before a lengthy ban ended his chances of a recall, while a further suspension for biting later that year pushed him further down the pecking order.

However, Ashton insists the match was just an opportunity for him to carry on his superb form this season, rather than a chance to catch Jones’ eye.

“I don’t think there was a point to prove,” Ashton told reporters. 

“I knew there were great players here and Pat [Lam, Barbarians coach] has done a great job with us all week in such a short space of time.

“The structure we had was to get to the space where we knew it was. We had the players to exploit it, and they did. I didn’t think it was that big a surprise for me, to be honest.

“It was great opportunity for me and I wanted to carry on doing what I’ve been doing all year. 

“I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to do that. I’d like to have scored a couple more but I’ll take three.”

England, who have now lost four games on the spin, are next in action against South Africa, with the first of three Tests taking place in Johannesburg on June 9. News wire is powered by opta

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