Eddie Jones insists decision to leave Chris Ashton out of England squad ‘easy’
Ashton was a surprise omission from the 32-man squad given his try-scoring form for Saracens
Harlequins’ Marland Yarde has been preferred as one of three wings
England coach Eddie Jones has insisted the decision to leave Saracens winger Chris Ashton out of his squad for the summer tour to Australia was “easy.”
“It wasn’t a tough call to make, it was an easy call to make. Ashton has done well, but there are parts of his game that he needs to work on,” Jones said.
“We feel Marland is a player with a lot of growth in him and that’s important because we’re a young team that is building towards the 2019 World Cup. We want players who are going to grow.
“Chris has scored a lot of tries, but there’s a part of the game where you don’t have the ball. I’ve had a chat to Chris about my decision and in my eyes he’s not in the top three wings in England.”
The decision to leave the Saracens winger came as a major surprise as he has scored 10 tries in eight matches since completing his 10-week ban that ruled him out of the Six Nations.
Rugby league convert Ben Te’o could also be set to play a massive part this summer after Manu Tuilagi hurt is hamstring in Leicester’s defeat to Saracens on Saturday.
“Teo’s in the squad so he has a great chance to play if he puts his best foot forward. We’ll see how he goes,” Jones said.
There are three other uncapped players in Jones’ squad – Northampton back-row Teimana Harrison and two young props in Kyle Sinckler of Harlequins and Bristol’s Ellis Genge, currently on loan at Leicester.