- Sharples pleased with Fiji performance
- Gloucester wing knows Ashton will be tough contender for wing spot
England winger Charlie Sharples hopes his two tries in last weekend’s match against Fiji at Twickenham will put him in contention for the no.14 shirt against Australia despite Chris Ashton being available again for selection.
In what was Sharples’ third start for England the Gloucester wing used quick feet and physicality to run in his first two international tries as he helped his side to a 54-12 winning start to their QBE International series. Ashton’s missed the game because of a ban, but will be back in contention for this weekend's game against Australia and Sharples is hoping that he has done enough to give Head Coach Lancaster a selection quandary.
“I always knew going into the game that it didn’t matter how well I played, it takes more than one good game to put someone out of position who has been playing well there for a number of years,” he said. “But my goal is to do the best I can, put myself in the best position, raise a few questions in the coaches’ heads and put pressure on my rivals. I have done as much as I could have done and we will have to see what happens now.”
The 23-year-old’s first try against Fiji highlighted not only his ability to break tackles (he evaded four Fijians) but also his clinical finishing within the final third.
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“The first try happened pretty quickly so I was delighted to get that down,” he said. “The first one was a bit of a blur as I got a whack in the face. The second one was meant for Tom Youngs but being the winger that I am I stole it from him.
“It was a big game for me, having the opportunity to come in and play. I wanted to make sure I had a good game first and foremost but obviously it was nice to get a bit of ball and get the tries. Fiji came out all guns blazing and we were camped on our line. It took about 10-20 minutes to break out and turn the pressure round on them but we managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and ran away with it at the end.
“Ultimately it’s good to get the win and score the tries we did and it shows that some of our attacking stuff is coming together. We needed a win. We want to win all four games and that’s the first one nailed so it will give us some confidence.”