England and Gloucester's 'Junkyard Dog'

CHRIS ASHTON became the butt of a joke from England manager Martin Johnson once they had despatched Italy with eight tries at Twickenham.
Ashton defied Johnson’s orders by swallow diving – twice – in the victory, in the act of scoring two his four tries.
And England captain Mike Tindall revealed: ‘It proves Chris clearly doesn’t think!
‘When we were in the dressing room after the game Johnno turned to us when Chris was still being quizzed he on television and he said: ‘we’ll just wait for Ashy as he is doing his last interview as an England player!
‘I think when you score four tries like Ashy I don’t think anyone can worry about it.
‘That was typical of his personality. He doesn’t think when he is playing, he plays completely what he sees in front of him and that is how we want him to play. If he keeps scoring he can do whatever he wants from my point of view.’
Tindall, captaining England for the second time, against Italy believes there is no danger of the team getting over-confident following their biggest win over Italy in a decade.
‘There’s no way we’ll get carried away,’ said Tindall. ‘We know how big the next game is, France at Twickenham.
‘We did a good job two years ago, killing them off early on, but we are under no illusions things went right for us today. But we have to be down to earth and acknowledge the mistakes we made and try and get better from there.
‘It is easier to look at the mistakes when you have played well. We got some flak at half-time about the number of balls we turned over.
‘We kicked a little poorly at the start, and gave away too many silly penalties which we have to iron out, but our defence has been solid.
‘If you had given us that scoreline at the start of the day we’d have bitten your hands off.
‘Looking back on it we made a few too many errors. But that happens in a game like that when you are trying to play. You need half offloads that aren’t quite there. It is one of those games – you’ve earned the position you are in so you can try those things.’

This article is from

Rugby World – Rugby World is the voice of global rugby and the biggest-selling rugby magazine anywhere. Through its team of respected and professional writers, it offers unrivalled access to the players and coaches behind the thrilling clashes that define the sport of international rugby union.

Subscribe to Rugby World in print » | Read the digital edition »