Six Nations: England wing Chris Ashton rounds on his critics
Last Updated: 02/03/13 2:44pm
Chris Ashton: England wing attempts to peg back Wesley Fofana
England wing Chris Ashton has hit back at his critics after he was accused of having a defensive weakness.
Former rugby league star Ashton was identified as the main culprit when feeble tackling allowed Wesley Fofana to score a try during the first half of England's 23-13 Six Nations victory over France at Twickenham last weekend.
There have since been calls for Ashton to be replaced by fellow Saracens player David Strettle in the game against Italy but the 25-year-old insists he still deserves his place in the team.
Waiting in the wings
"I thought there was a lot of heat for one tackle, although I am trying to get better at that all the time," said Ashton.
"This is new for me. I don't know where all this defence stuff has come from. I'm not afraid to tackle - I want to tackle.
"I want to hurt people - that was the issue with my shoulder charging - I just want to hurt someone. Sometimes people are bigger than you and they are going to get the better of you.
"This is new for me. I don't know where all this defence stuff has come from. I'm not afraid to tackle - I want to tackle."
"One tackle has cost us a try, but I was caught out by an outstanding player and he scored a try. At some point Fofana is going to do that again.
"I got myself into an uncompromising position and it was unfortunate that I gave him that time to use his footwork on me and get away from me.
"At this level you can't really afford to let those things happen. I put more than enough pressure on myself to know that. I'm my own worst critic and I will be trying to get better at it.
"I want to be in this team every week - that is all that matters to me. I don't really care about anything else - I just want to be in this team.
"For people to say I'm doing stuff wrong and shouldn't be in this team, it hurts, so I have got to get better at that."