Ashton stars against Baa-Baas
England wing notches hat-trick in record 57-26 win
Last Updated: 27/05/12 5:19pm
England wing Chris Ashton bagged a hat-trick to help his team to a record 57-26 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
The hosts warmed up for their tour of South Africa this summer by running in eight tries in total, including a score for hooker Dylan Hartley on his return to action after an eight-week biting ban.
Christian Wade capped a busy afternoon on his senior debut by crossing just before the hour and England's win was rounded off by a try from Richard Wigglesworth and two from Jonathan Joseph.
But Stuart Lancaster's men will be disappointed to have conceded four tries to the Barbarians, one of which was scored by the former England centre Mike Tindall.
Mils Muliaina had touched down for the first two for the Baa-Baas, while Biarritz's Pelu Taele scored their fourth.
Ashton, the joint-leading try-scorer at the World Cup, had drawn a blank in each of his last six Test matches but he roamed menacingly on Sunday and touched down twice before the interval and once after.
Although this was not a capped international, a third hat-trick in England colours was a timely confidence boost for Ashton before next month's three-Test series against the Springboks.
Of those who caught the eye without making the scoresheet, Mouritz Botha produced a barnstorming second row performance and Tom Johnson delivered a strong display on the blindside flank.
England coach Lancaster still has issues to resolve before the Test series, not least over who should start at fly-half after a rusty performance from Owen Farrell, who still kicked a penalty and seven conversions.
The England touring squad will be boosted by the 18-strong Harlequins and Leicester contingent, who were unavailable after Saturday's sensational Aviva Premiership final.
Phil Dowson captained England in the absence of Quins' Chris Robshaw but there will be question marks over his fitness after he left the game on a stretcher.