Not only has Chris, a Rugby League convert, made a seamless transition to Union, he has done so with vigour and made sure everyone took notice of his first International try. Now a familiar face around the England squad, Rugby World caught up with him to chat England antics, bad habits and driving a Ferrari.
Rugby World: Who do you share a room with on England duty?
Chris Ashton: Ben Foden. He’s very messy. He throws his stuff everywhere, whereas mine’s all neat and tidy. He doesn’t brush his teeth sometimes either! One person I wouldn’t like to share with is Delon Armitage, he stinks! I don’t think he uses deodorant.
RW: Who are England’s jokers?
CA: Haskell likes to be the centre of attention. He’s got a loud voice so people have to pay attention to him. I’m like that at Northampton, but I can’t be like that when I’m with England yet.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
CA: One of Shane Geraghty’s kicks nearly took a player’s head off in a game against Castres!
RW: If your house was alight, what three things would you save?
CA: My dog Henry, an English bulldog. My photos. And my first England shirt.
RW: What do the England boys do to wind down?
CA: The cinema, or we go for food. There’s a Chinese near Pennyhill Park. Charlie Hodgson always loses his credit card there.
RW: Do you have any bad habits?
CA: Driving too fast when late. I’ve not been caught speeding for a while though, so let’s not jinx it!
RW: What’s the best game you’ve played in?
CA: Against Australia in Sydney. We won and I scored my first Test try. That one was important.
Too many trainers, his alternative career choice and important lessons…
RW: What are your bugbears?
CA: Foden makes this weird noise with his throat. It’s horrible! He doesn’t know he’s doing it and it really winds me up!
RW: What superpower would you want and why?
CA: To be invisible, but I can’t tell you what I’d like to do! I’d sneak around people’s houses. And rob banks and spend all the money on whatever I wanted.
RW: Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?
CA: Michael Jackson for entertainment. My favourite song is Man in the Mirror. Rocky for protection. And the Godfather, because I want to be in his gang.
RW: What’s your dream holiday?
CA: A hot beach with my missus.
RW: What can’t you live without?
CA: A car. And white trainers, I’ve got about 100 pairs!
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
CA: Lee Evans, he’s hilarious!
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
CA: A car when I first arrived in Northampton that I got for £400. It was an old banger, and at training one day the lads spray-painted it so I had to get rid of it. Now I drive a Ferrari… no, it’s a Ford Mondeo.
RW: If you weren’t playing rugby, what else would you like to do?
CA: I’d be a milkman. You just have to work in the morning and then get the rest of the day off, and you get a milk float to drive.
RW: Who would play you if a film was made of your life?
CA: Dylan Hartley. People get us mixed up. They’d have to play it in fast-forward though.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
CA: To play an instrument. I’ve tried the guitar but I’ve not got the patience for it so I’ll go for piano.
RW: What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learnt?
CA: You can’t shoulder-charge in rugby union, and you have to tackle with your arms!
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
CA: As that unbelievably good-looking winger!
Relive Chris’s try against Australia during last years Autumn Internationals…
Learn more about Chris’s teammates at Northampton Saints….