Chris Ashton finished a hokey-cokey week – out of the England team then back in again – with a morale-boosting Twickenham try in front of a footballing hero in the win over Argentina.
Ashton's shaky defence and a fifth England match in a row without a try against Australia last weekend had led to him training last Tuesday in the knowledge he had lost his starting place to Wasps' Christian Wade. Then Wade pulled a hamstring and Ashton was restored to England's line-up in a match watched from the stands by David Beckham and his three sons.
Ashton blew a great opportunity to score in the 20th minute but claimed only his third try in 18 matches under Lancaster's coaching regime seven minutes before half-time.
"I did think I might not be involved today but fortunately for me I got another chance," said Ashton. "I probably wouldn't have had any arguments if I'd been dropped. It's good competition at the minute. I did as good as I could, got myself about the pitch and got involved. Stuart [Lancaster] asked me to stay in the system in defence after last week. That was a stop-start game and I didn't get any chance to get involved whatsoever. Sometimes it's about doing the other stuff as good as you can and that's something I've got to get better at.
"[Next week's game against] New Zealand is a big ask and I'm sure they'll be looking for revenge against us – whoever takes the field.''
Ashton – a Manchester United fan – and England team-mate Danny Care, a former Sheffield Wednseday apprentice, both spotted Beckham on the big screen during the match. "I was pleased he was here, showing his support for the team," said Ashton. "Danny said he got a bit nervous when he saw him! He was always someone I watched. What a guy, eh, there's not many like him."
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