Chris Ashton has reviewed the absolute stunner of a try he finished off last Sunday for Harlequins at The Stoop, a score that has left him just four more tries away from pulling level with Tom Varndell, the Premiership’s long-time all-time record try-scorer. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Ashton’s has scored twice in his three post-lockdown appearances for Harlequins, the club he joined in March following his hurried exit from Sale Sharks. That puts him on six tries for the 2019/20 season, four behind Ollie Thorley who bagged four in a single afternoon last weekend versus Leicester. 

More importantly, his latest score versus Northampton moved him onto 88 Premiership career tries, four less than Varndell’s celebrated 92 and just two behind Mark Cueto on 90. 

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
Watch the Lions in South Africa in 2021

The score stemmed from Mike Brown faking to kick clear from the 22, embarking on a break where he offloaded to the supporting Alex Dombrant and the No8 then put Ashton in the clear for a try he has now reviewed Harlequins’ social media.  

“It was all Mike Brown, I reckon,” he said. “We have a play here to do a kicking exit plan but Mike Brown, being the player he is, he felt a bit of pressure, stepped, handed someone off, found the gap and offloads. That was all Brownie. 

“And a hell of a 15-metre pass from Dombrandt. His work rate has gone through the roof in attack and defence. I have had a few clubs and to see a lad hitting lines like he does off the nine and tens, there’s not many people in the league who can do that. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’d liked to have got closer (to him) because at the time I knew how quick he was moving. There wasn’t time for me to get closer so I just had to back him… I’d every faith he was going to play that pass.”

Having had to wait five months to make his club debut due to the lockdown suspension of the Premiership, Ashton believes his recent run of games has at last allowed him to familiarise himself with his Harlequins teammates. He is now looking forward to next Saturday when he can finally play in front of some of their fans.

The Londoners have been permitted to allow 3,500 people to attend versus Bath, a pilot event as the UK Government ramps up the ability for the public to gather again in large numbers. “It takes more time than what people think,” said Ashton, the England international winger, about his adjustment to playing for Harlequins following stints at Sale, Toulon and Saracens in recent years.  

“You’ve got to get used to new systems and playing different players, you have got to get used to how they operate and how they move and you can only get used to that from playing really, training is very different. Some of it is really hard to replicate in games so the more games I’ll get the more I get used to how people move around the pitch and hopefully I can get more and more involved. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“It has been probably since school since I played two games in a week. I probably felt it on Sunday night at home. But I’m enjoying the mix in scheduling. It’s new, it’s different. We have done the same thing for so long, playing relentlessly on the weekend. It’s quite nice. Everyone gets a chance and it’s good to mix it up. 

“It’s great that we are the first club to be able to do it,” he added about the prospect of the fans coming to The Stoop. “Some of the lads might not relate to it as much as me but I really do because the position I am on the pitch, I’m closer to them. Sometimes I’ll have a chat with them if there isn’t much going on. I’m happy they are back… I’ve very grateful we are the first to let them back in.”

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now