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Mark McCall: Chris Ashton is back to his brilliant best

Last updated: 30th March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Mark McCall: Chris Ashton is back to his brilliant best

Chris Ashton: Celebrates key try at Wasps

It was the Chris Ashton everybody talked about two years ago, popping up all over the place, hands on the ball, making breaks. But he also defended very well, he was hungry for work, he was energetic so it was great for him.

Mark McCall
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Saracens boss Mark McCall says Chris Ashton is back to his best after the winger's superb display in the 22-13 win at Wasps.

Ashton was well below par for England in the Six Nations and was on the wrong end of some fierce criticism from the rugby media.

But he scored the crucial second-half try which put the Aviva Premiership leaders ahead for the first time at Adams Park.

"I thought he was absolutely brilliant today," said McCall. "It was the Chris Ashton everybody talked about two years ago, popping up all over the place, hands on the ball, making breaks.

"But he also defended very well, he was hungry for work, he was energetic so it was great for him.

"He's a sensitive soul and anyone in the world who is sensitive is going to be affected a little bit by some of the criticism he received.

"However, when he came back to Saracens he knew he was coming back to a place where we won't judge him in that way.

Great player

"We back him, we believe he's a great player - that's why we brought him to the club.

"We leave him be and we let him play and let him do what he does best. At our club we try to concentrate on what people are good at rather than what they are not good at - and Chris is good at quite a few things."

Despite seeing his side take an early lead, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "It was a game we didn't have control of.

"We started well but it's very difficult to play without the ball. For big periods of the game, our handling and ball retention was really poor.

"We had something like 16 handling errors which meant we never really worked Saracens hard enough in defence to stress them. If you give the top teams that amount of ball in that territory they are always going to come away with points."

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