- Chris Ashton on his four-try haul in the RBS 6 Nations win over Italy
- Wing put supporting-running play down to desire to score tries
Photo: Getty Images
England wing Chris Ashton says he is acting on instinct when popping up in try-scoring positions after bagging four tries in the RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy at Twickenham.
The 23-year-old, who has nine tries in his first nine Tests, became the first Englishman to score four in the six-team era and the first in the Championship since Ronnie Poulton-Palmer’s quartet against France in 1914.
With six tries in two games the Northampton wing has also equalled the highest number of tries in a single RBS 6 Nations. He shares the record with England centre Will Greenwood and Wales wing Shane Williams, with three games remaining in this season's tournament.
A consistent feature of England’s play has been Ashton’s arrival on the shoulder of the ball-carrier and the former Rugby League man says he is doing it naturally.
He said: "It’s either my rugby league background or just that I’m desperate to score tries.
"I find myself not thinking, just running across the pitch and doing anything to get a try. As long as I get on the end of the try I’m not too bothered."
AUDIO – England wing Chris Ashton on his four-try haul against Italy
"It’s always good to win at Twickenham and we can take a lot from this into the game against France.
"Our defence stood up well on the whole and we managed to take a lot of the chances we created going forward. The team’s going well at the minute – the team’s all bouncing off each other – and let’s hope that can continue."
Exuberant celebration from exuberant player
Photo: Getty Images
Ashton repeated his swan-dive try celebration for his first and fourth tries but puts that down to his exuberant personality rather than instinct. He also spoke of his delight that fellow wing Mark Cueto got over the try line, his first try in 19 Test matches.
“I had no intention of doing the dive again but I thought there’s been a lot of talk about it so I thought I might as well go for it.
“It was a great team performance and I was just on the end of a few tries.
“Cueto’s try made the day, I ran a long way to celebrate that. It’s great, especially as he’s getting old now. He’s been very upset about the try drought so hopefully he’ll be a happier man now!”