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Ashton 'has not got the X-Factor anymore'
ESPN Staff
November 24, 2013
Chris Ashton scored for England against Argentina © Getty Images

England World Cup-winning winger Dan Luger has heavily criticised Chris Ashton and says he has "not got the X-Factor anymore".

Luger, who managed to grab 24 tries in 38 appearances for England during a five-year spell, is unhappy with Stuart Lancaster's decision to stick by Ashton, who has scored three tries in his last 20 Test matches.

Ashton started all three of England's Tests during the autumn series but there was a chance he would have been dropped for England's second match against Argentina but injuries to Marland Yarde and Christian Wade saw Lancaster opt for Ashton and Ben Foden on the flank with that pairing continuing against the All Blacks.

But for Luger, he feels it is time to look at other options on the wing. He told The Rugby Paper: "I just don't understand why he is still in the squad. He burst onto the scene a few years ago but has really not made the improvements he ought to.

"Chris has not got the X-Factor anymore. He does not break tackles, I can't remember seeing him break a tackle for a while. With Marland Yarde on the wing (against Australia) that's what we had been missing. In the back three we have not had that X-Factor and that's been needed.

"If Ashton is the best option we've got, then that's worrying. He can't defend.

"Sometimes a rest or time away from the game can help players improve. There is competition for places and they then have to earn their place back. I don't know what message it sends out to the team by continuing to pick Ashton. Stuart Lancaster is not afraid to put boys in there and try positions, so I don't know why he isn't doing it with Chris."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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