France reveal plan to halt Chris Ashton threat
Tuesday 22 February 2011
France defence coach Dave Ellis has revealed plans are already in place to stop Chris Ashton in Saturday's clash with England at Twickenham.
Northampton wing Ashton has made a superb start to the RBS 6 Nations, with six tries in England's opening two matches - two against Wales and four as Italy buckled in London.
That makes him the obvious threat to France, who like England have begun their campaign with two wins, and Ellis has confirmed stopping Ashton is a priority.
Ellis is confident France have the defensive resources to stymie the supply to 23-year-old Ashton, as they did with a previous England try machine.
"Ashton can be stopped," Ellis said in the Daily Telegraph.
"We used to stop Jason Robinson from scoring. You've just got to make sure that he doesn't get the ball when he wants it.
"It's not just about closing one man down. If you concentrate on doing that, then it only takes away your focus from elsewhere.
"Ashton is a finisher, just like Jason was, or Shaun Edwards and Ellery Hanley were in rugby league before them. It's inbred in rugby league players."
Ashton was prised away from the 13-man game by Northampton in 2007 after he shone as a teenager for Wigan Warriors, and his scoring exploits for Northampton persuaded the England management to bring him into the international fold last year.
Ellis admires Ashton's understanding of his team-mates' movement, and instinctive awareness of where try-scoring chances are like to arise.
"First and foremost, you've got to stop giving England decent ball," Ellis said.
"Italy gave them far too much. They just let them play. They were allowed to play at their own tempo. We won't let them do that."
Louis van Gaal says he is inheriting a 'broken' Manchester United squad
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Manchester City's #AskJesus Twitter takeover quickly descends into chaos as Premier League champions are trolled relentlessly
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace