England v Australia: Ashton not guaranteed starting spot, says Catt

England coach Mike Catt insists Saracens wing Chris Ashton is not guaranteed to return to the starting line-up against Australia

chris ashton
Chris Ashton joined Saracens earlier this year Photo: Toomanycircles, via Flickr

chris ashton

Mike Catt insists Saracens wing Chris Ashton is not guaranteed to return to England’s starting line-up for their clash against Australia on Saturday.

The 25-year-old missed the 54-12 victory over Fiji due to suspension after a dangerous tackle on Northampton’s Vasily Artemyev.

England coped without Ashton at Twickenham on Saturday, with Charlie Sharples scoring two tries in an emphatic win – and Catt revealed Red Rose head coach Stuart Lancaster may stick with the same starting line-up.

“The guys are on top of their games and to be honest it’s about making sure what is the best team for us to beat Australia this weekend,” Catt told Sky Sports News.

“If that means changing it, we will, if it doesn’t, we won’t. Certain guys put their hands up at the weekend and performed well so there is no reason why we should change it.

“He [Ashton] doesn’t have to come in. He’s got a lot of credit for the way he has played. Hopefully he has learnt his lesson and won’t do the things he has done which put him in a spot in the first place.

“We have a very important training session this afternoon and if he comes through that and plays well with the attitude we know he can have, he is definitely in with a shout.”

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