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Chris Ashton may not return to the England team against Australia, says Mike Catt

Last Updated: 13/11/12 5:48pm

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Mike Catt gives instructions to Chris Ashton during training

Mike Catt gives instructions to Chris Ashton during training

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England attack coach Mike Catt says Chris Ashton is not guaranteed to return to the starting XV against Australia at Twickenham.

England beat Fiji 54-12 in their opening match of their autumn series with a host of players impressing, including winger Charlie Sharples with two tries.

Ashton is back after suspension but Catt insists he is not guaranteed to return to the starting XV thanks to the form of Sharples and fellow winger Ugo Monye.

"The guys are on top of their games and to be honest it's about making sure what is the best team for us to beat Australia this weekend," Catt told Sky Sports News.

"If that means changing it, we will, if it doesn't, we won't. Certain guys put their hands up at the weekend and performed well so there is no reason why we should change it.

"He (Ashton) doesn't have to come in. He's got a lot of credit for the way he has played. Hopefully he has learnt his lesson and won't do the things he has done which put him in a spot in the first place.

"We have a very important training session this afternoon and if he comes through that and plays well with the attitude we know he can have, he is definitely in with a shout."

The Wallabies suffered a surprise 33-6 defeat to France on Saturday but Catt remains guarded about the threat they will pose on Saturday despite the confirmed absence of influential flanker David Pocock.

"They have not just suffered a heavy defeat," he said. "They have taken New Zealand to a draw and beaten Argentina.

"We all know what a capable side they are. We are under no illusions, they will bring their A-game on the weekend."

He added: "They will park the disappointment just like they have done in the past. If they come on a northern hemisphere tour and they beat England they will say that it has been a successful tour.

"(Michael) Hooper now is doing everything for Australia. He is on the good breakdown and good on his feet, but yes, the leadership of Pocock makes a difference."

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