England winger Chris Ashton admits trying to win a place in the Lions squad has affected his performances this season.
Back in August, the Saracens star would have been regarded as a near-certainty to tour Australia this summer.
But he had a poor Six Nations, his performances coming under heavy criticism in the media.
It came as no surprise when Lions coach Warren Gatland left him out, choosing Alex Cuthbert, George North, Tommy Bowe and Sean Maitland as his four wings.
And Ashton admits he may have been trying too hard to impress.
"The Lions has been in the back of my mind all year and it's done my head in a little bit," he told the Mirror.
"You know it's coming and because it's something you so much want to be a part of, it kind of distracts you.
"It shouldn't, it should motivate you to play better. But sometimes that makes you over-keen and want to do too much."
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