Sharples admits Ashton could steal his spot on England's wing despite Fiji brace
23:00 GMT, 11 November 2012
Charlie Sharples fears that he could lose out to Chris Ashton next Saturday, despite having scored two tries against Fiji.
The possible return of Ashton, following a one-match ban for picking up three yellow cards this season, is one of the big selection posers facing England’s head coach Stuart Lancaster.
If Ashton returns in his normal right-wing place, that would leave the 23-year-old Sharples competing for the left-wing spot alongside Ugo Monye.
Man in the middle: Charlie Sharples celebrates scoring his first try against Fiji on Saturday
But the Gloucester wing looked delighted that an effective third appearance for England had made him a contender for further honours this autumn. He needed to stake his claim after missing out on England’s summer tour to South Africa because of a shoulder operation.
His tricky running and power, as demonstrated by his first try, showed he is fully recovered from the injury.
Sharples explained: ‘I wasn’t expecting after one good performance to push Ashie out.
‘It’s the same if I had played 10 good games in a row for Gloucester.
Predator: Sharples (centre) bagged two tries against Fiji but could yet lose his place next week
‘If someone else came in at Gloucester if I was injured, had a good game and took the shirt off me, I would be pretty gutted. I’m well aware that it takes more than one good performance to gain the shirt.
‘My goal going into the match was to put my best foot forward and to raise a few questions for the coaches. I’m just glad that the game went well.’
Sharples left Twickenham with a bump on his head and disappointment that he missed out on a third try, failing to touch down his own kick ahead near the end of the first half.
‘We left a couple of tries begging out there,’ he admitted. ‘That’s something you learn in the Premiership — you have to take your chances. Luckily, we took the majority of them.’