Chris Ashton not afraid of celebrating an England try with trademark ‘Ash Splash’
Chris Ashton admits his signature try celebration could grace Twickenham this autumn even after Freddie Burns’ recent high-profile blunder exposed the folly of showboating.
Ashton is on course to make his England comeback in next month’s autumn Tests against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia after a four-year international absence.
The dual-code wing is famed for performing the ‘Ash Splash’ when scoring and the last time it was produced in a Red Rose jersey at Twickenham was against the All Blacks in 2012.
But serving as a cautionary tale if he adds to his 19 tries is the example of Burns, who had the ball dislodged from his hand as he was about to propel Bath to a last-gasp win over Toulouse three weeks ago.
The moment went viral as Burns had kissed his fingers and then held them to the badge on his shirt before glancing up to the crowd rather touching down, enabling Maxime Medard to swoop at the final moment.
“Poor Freddie! Ah, I felt so bad for him. Just put it down over the line, that’s what you do isn’t it?” Ashton said.
“I never think about diving at all. Just put it down over the line. Or on the line actually!”
Ashton performed the ‘swallow dive’ upon scoring a hat-trick on his Sale debut last Saturday and the 31-year-old said: “That wasn’t the plan either. We’ll see!”
A seven-week ban for a tip tackle against Castres during pre-season delayed Ashton’s maiden outing for the Sharks until the first round of European action and when he learned of the sanction, he feared suspension might once again ruin his chance with current boss Eddie Jones.
“Of course I thought that, but thankfully he was always good with me all the way through, seeing how I was doing and checking up,” Ashton said.
“It was nice to have that support from him and to be involved in the camps too. It just kept things fresh for me in training at Sale and then going into England camps.
“I knew it was going to be a tough seven weeks. It’s obviously not what you want when you go into a new club. It was a bit more embarrassing than anything else.”
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