Ashton backed by Saracens coach Gustard after poor Six Nations
21:49 GMT, 2 April 2013
07:14 GMT, 3 April 2013
Chris Ashton, the under-fire England wing, has received the backing of Saracens defence coach Paul Gustard.
The club head into Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster at Twickenham believing Ashton is in excellent form despite his poor Six Nations campaign that led to an inquest into his tackling.
Ashton scored his first try in almost two months last Saturday, against Wasps, and Gustard expects more in the Heineken Cup.
Out of sorts: Ashton scored just one try in the Six Nations
Jumping for joy: Ashton celebrates after scoring against Wasps last weekend
‘Even if Chris had not scored a try, it does not mean he’s not played well,’ Gustard said. ‘He’s done really, really well for us in the last two weeks and is in a good place after a good show at Wasps.
The problem of being a wing in rugby is that it’s a bit like being a goalkeeper in football. You are the last line in defence; a mistake can cost you.
‘Chris is not a bad defender. Sometimes, he misses a tackle but so what Everyone misses a tackle,’ Gustard added.
On the run: Ashton charges upfield playing for Saracens
He could also be Ashton’s coach on England’s summer tour of Argentina if he does not make the Lions trip to Australia.
Gustard is taking over temporarily because Andy Farrell will help coach the Lions with Warren Gatland.
‘I’m not going to change the way England defend,’ he said. ‘The system has worked well over the last season. It’s a matter of learning and developing as a coach.’