England coach Stuart Lancaster has warned Chris Ashton over his disciplinary problems
Last Updated: November 5, 2012 10:44pm
Chris Ashton must channel his competitive spirit effectively, says Stuart Lancaster
England coach Stuart Lancaster has warned banned wing Chris Ashton to be more careful in future.
The Saracens star will miss England's opening autumn international against Fiji on Saturday having picked up three yellow cards in the Aviva Premiership this season for dangerous tackles.
In passing judgment at the hearing, the Rugby Football Union's disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett instructed Ashton to work on his tackling technique.
"There aren't many world class finishers around anywhere. We think we have two (Ashton and the injured Ben Foden) but they are unavailable."
Lancaster said: "One of Chris's real strengths is his competitive nature. It is tempering that to make sure we get the best out of him and, alongside that, work on his tackle technique.
"He is more disappointed than anyone that he is not available. He has to deal with it and put that frustration to bed and work on those two areas to make sure he is ready for next week."
"There aren't many world class finishers around anywhere. We think we have two (Ashton and the injured Ben Foden) but they are unavailable. The spark doesn't have to be on the wing."
England's disciplinary issues do not stop with Ashton, as Wasps back rower James Haskell has been handed a retrospective yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Alistair Hargreaves in Sunday's Aviva Premiership defeat to Saracens.
Ashton has actually yet to score a try in Lancaster's reign, though the dual-code international has still touched down 15 times in his 26 England Tests.
It seems likely that Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples will get the chance to start on the wing against Fiji with Alex Goode offering a ball-playing presence from full-back.
"You cannot just manufacture finishers. They come through the Premiership and we aim to pick them from there," Lancaster said.
"Danny Care, Ben Youngs, Alex Goode, Toby Flood, Owen Farrell - there are lots of playmakers in our team, people who can change the course of a game.
"The game is not just won by game breakers. You can break a game by scrumming and scrumming, mauling well, kicking your points. That's what makes a winning team. We have to get that balance right."