|Weight||92kg (14st 6lb)|
Becoming only the second England player to score four tries in a Championship match and the first for 97 years hangs lightly on the shoulders of Chris Ashton, who achieved the feat in the 59-13 win over Italy in February 2011. His exploits brought the man of match award. With two tries already tucked away against Wales, it took him to a RBS 6 Nations Championship equalling best of six in a season. He shares the record with Will Greenwood (2001) and Shane Williams (2008) and was the leading try-scorer in 2011 Championship.
His six RWC tries that year meant he was only two short of the individual tournament record held by Jonah Lomu (1999) and Bryan Habana (2007). He was the joint leading try-scorer in the 2011 event alongside Vincent Clerc.
Chris brought a spell of 11 Test matches without scoring to end in spectacular style against the All Blacks at Twickenham last November and he crashed over the Scotland line in the opening 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship game at Twickenham. He started every match in the tournament.
His touchdown against New Zealand stemmed from one of his inimitable supporting runs. He seized a pass from Manu Tuilagi to run in a scintillating try, the second of England’s three touchdowns to put his side 25-14 ahead after 58 minutes.
Euphoric praise had already been heaped on Chris for his stunning 85-metre touchdown against Australia in November 2010. Prolific try-scoring had already crowned his union success since switching from Wigan Warriors to Saints on a three-year contract for 2007-08, in which he made 39 touchdowns, a record for what is now the Championship.
His scoring output continued unabated as his outstanding maiden Test try illustrated on his third appearance in the 21-20 victory over Australia in June 2010. He followed that with another try in the final tour match against New Zealand Maori.
He bagged 23 tries in 32 matches in 2009-10 and the book closed on his Saints’ career with 93 touchdowns in 111 games. Chris signed a ‘long term’ contract with Saracens starting this season and his final game of the previous campaign brought a hat trick of tries for England in the 57-26 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham. He then started all three summer Tests last year in South Africa, missed the opening QBE International against Fiji in the autumn before returning against Australia. Chris was rested for this summer’s tour of South America.
A product of St John Fisher Catholic HS, he emerged through Wigan’s development system. Rugby runs in the family. His father Kevin appeared for Wigan RUFC and brother David played for Swinton Lions RLFC.
85 points - 17T
2010 F, A(1,2), NZ, A, Sam, SA 2011 W, It, F, S, I, I World Cup - Arg, G, R, S, F 2012 S, It, W, F, I, SA (1,2,3), A, SA, NZ 2013 S, I, F, It, W
Last updated: March 18, 2013