Chris Ashton will be a marked man warns Mark Cueto

Mark Cueto has warned Chris Ashton he must be prepared for life as a marked man - starting in England's crunch showdown with RBS 6 Nations title rivals France.

Ashton became the first England player to score four tries in one Five or Six Nations match since 1914 as England routed Italy 59-13 on Saturday.



The Northampton wing, who now has nine tries from his first nine Tests, was labelled afterwards by England manager Martin Johnson as a unique talent.



Six years ago Cueto made a similar impact on international rugby - but his feast of eight tries in eight Tests soon turned to famine as defences got wise.



"Teams start to target you and they will maybe throw extra defenders (at Ashton)," said Cueto, who ended an 18-Test try drought in the victory over Italy.



"Whenever you do your analysis on the teams you come up against you pick out the threats and without a shadow of a doubt, teams will be looking at Ashy.



"He has scored six tries in two games and is the out-and-out threat with England at the minute so he will be put under a lot of pressure."



But Cueto believes the unique way Ashton reads the game will still make him very difficult to stop.



"There is an art to what he does and it is unbelievable. He just anticipates everything," said Cueto.



"He will be tracking a play from 10 metres offside just in the hope that they will make a line-break and then he will be in that position.



"A lot of the times, if you are not offside, you are never going to be there.



"In the past, wingers have almost trailed the play from an onside position and if someone did make a line break, you are 10 metres behind the play and it is difficult to get there."



Even if France do target Ashton, Cueto believes that can only benefit an England side which, for the first time in a long time, boasts attacking threats across the field.



"It is not a case of shutting Ashy down and we stop winning. If you throw two men at Ashy then there is going to be a gap somewhere else and someone else will exploit it," Cueto said.



"Shontayne Hape and Mike Tindall in the middle were looking strong and busting through tackles and Ben Foden at the back is unsung at the minute.



"He is doing some great work and unfortunately not getting over the try line, a bit similar to myself (in recent games).



"We have people like Ben Youngs and Toby Flood at nine and 10 - I could go through the whole team and talk about threats."



Given Ashton was on the brink of quitting rugby union altogether just 18 months ago it has been a remarkable rise, quicker and more impressive even than Johnson could have hoped for.



Ashton, who moved from Wigan to Northampton in 2007, has brought a new dimension to England's attacking game since making his debut against France last season.



And Johnson compared his impact over the last 12 months to England's only previous unqualified cross-code success story.



"Chris is a bit different. When Jason Robinson came into the team he was different in how he played and Chris is different again," Johnson said.



"We need finishers. They make the difference in games. Chris is enjoying what he does but underneath that he does work hard, he is conscientious and he wants to be a very good player.



"The world is very, very quick now. At the start of last season Chris wasn't sure of a place in the Northampton team and he was playing for England by the end of it.



"When you think where he is now, we are very pleased with his progress. I don't think anyone could have definitely said he would be where he is now."

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all