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….Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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