- Wing wins try of the year for Twickenham touch down
- Ashton beats off strong shortlist in public vote
Chris Ashton’s wonderful 85-metre try scored at Twickenham against Australia in November has been named the International Rugby Players' Association Try of the Year 2010.
The England and Northampton wing's try won the public vote, beating finishes by Mils Muliaina, Felipe Contepomi, Shane Williams and Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 star Danielle Waterman.
Ashton’s memorable try, his second in the match, combined pace, power and panache as the wing raced clear to finish off a superb counter-attack that started on his own try-line.
“It’s a fantastic accolade to win the IRPA Try of the Year Award,” said the 23-year-old. “It means a lot to me that so many people took the trouble to vote for me ahead of so many other great players.”
“Even though I had the job of putting the ball down over the whitewash it was a team effort with the whole team playing its part in defending and forcing the turnover before Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes gave me the ball. They all deserve the credit too – it wouldn’t have happened without all of us working together.”
IRPA Chairman Damian Hopley said: “The IRPA Try of the Year is a highly prestigious award featuring world-class rugby action from players representing seven nations. Chris Ashton’s outstanding try will live long in the memory of those of us fortunate enough to be at Twickenham that day, and he is a very deserving winner.”
“We had great difficulty narrowing the field from our original 230 entries to the 18 nominees which were presented for the public vote as there were many spectacular tries scored in 2010. The public vote proved equally close with Danielle Waterman and Israel Dagg polling considerable votes, before Chris emerged as the winner.”
The full shortlist was: Shane Williams (2), Ben Foden, Dan Carter, Felipe Contepomi, Gonzalo Tiesi, Mils Muliaina, Israel Dagg, James O’Connor, Danielle Waterman, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Huriana Manuel, Chrysander Botha, Nikola Matawalu, Juan Jose Imhoff, Chris Ashton, James Hook and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Ashton follows in the footsteps of 2009 winner, South Africa centre Jaque Fourie, Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll in 2008 and Takudzwa Ngwenya of the USA who claimed the inaugural award in 2007.