Foden: Ash can break record
England's Ben Foden has backed Chris Ashton to break Jonah Lomu's World Cup try-scoring record.
Last Updated: 28/09/11 10:43pm
England full-back Ben Foden has backed Chris Ashton to break Jonah Lomu's World Cup try-scoring record after he flew to the top of the charts.
Ashton has hit form once again after undergoing knee surgery during the summer and he now has 14 tries in 16 Tests. His hat-trick against Romania took his World Cup tally to five - just three short of the record held jointly by All Black legend Lomu (1999) and South Africa wing Bryan Habana (2007).
Ahead of the World Cup, Ashton was listed at 33/1 to finish as leading try-scorer but Foden believes his friend can top that esteemed duo.
"He's definitely hungry enough and greedy enough," said Foden, Ashton's Northampton club-mate and England room-mate.
"He loves all that stuff and it will just spur him on even more. Hopefully that will be a good thing for us.
"I expect to see him score a few more tries. He's always hungry to do it.
"Ashy is one of those guys who loves scoring tries. He loves doing it for Northampton. He didn't score any for four or five Tests and then scores five in two. He'll love all that.
"He's got a terrific work-rate and the kind of player he is - he doesn't shy away from any occasions.
"Hopefully we'll be seeing a few Ash Splashes at the weekend."
England play Scotland on Saturday in a decisive Pool B showdown, with both teams knowing defeat could bring their World Cup campaigns crashing to a halt before the knockout stages.
Manager Martin Johnson will confirm his team selection early on Thursday but Ashton and Foden are set to start alongside Delon Armitage, who appears to have been preferred to Mark Cueto.
"This is definitely the biggest game of my career so far, in terms of what's at stake. We want to win the group and take through a winning attitude," said Foden.
"No-one's ever won a World Cup having lost a game (on the way) so we know what's ahead of us.
"Scotland are going to be tough opposition and will make things difficult for us. It's a crunch game for them as well.
"They were unlucky to lose to Argentina at the weekend and they know they have to get a result against us if they are going to progress.
"Everyone will throw everything into it and hopefully things will go our way."
Foden has not quite found his World Cup stride just yet but now seemingly ensconced as England's first choice full-back, he is confident it will come.
"I always want to push myself and get better and I definitely think there is more to come from me," the 26-year-old said.
"Hopefully it's just a matter of time before things really start to fly."
Foden has not always felt so wanted by the England management. Less than two years ago, during the 2009 autumn internationals, he said he was "livid" at being overlooked.
Armitage was out injured and England opted to use Cueto and Ugo Monye as stand-in full-backs instead of turning to Foden, who had given a series of strong performances for Northampton.
As a result, Foden got a dressing down from Johnson. England's management knew him at the time as a converted scrum-half and maverick attacking force but they were less than convinced by his defensive qualities.
Eventually, Foden forced his way into the side for the final game of the 2010 RBS Six Nations and has been England's first choice ever since.
"One of the reasons they weren't picking me was because I was a wild card and no-one knew what I was going to do at the back," said Foden.
"I've shown that little bit of maturity in my game and have fixed up the areas they were worried about.
"I've worked hard in those areas and shown I can be trusted to play that style of game they wanted me to play.
"They're all for me running the ball back and taking chances when it's on but also you need to rein it in sometimes and neaten little areas up.
"I've worked hard to do that with whoever it may be - Paul Grayson or Jim Mallinder at Northampton or coming here and working with Dave Alred and Brian Smith and getting things right."