Chris Ashton has described his former Toulon teammates Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova as “the biggest freaks of nature I’ve come across”.
The Harlequins winger provided an insight of what it was like to play in a back three with the duo in the South of France during the 2017/18 season, where Ashton actually broke the Top 14 try scoring record for a single campaign.
Radradra, now with Bristol Bears, captained Fiji to a win over Georgia at the weekend in the Autumn Nations Cup, while Tuisova, now with Lyon, scored one try and set up another for Mesu Kunavula.
“So I played 15 because I knew if I didn’t play 15 I wasn’t going to get in this team,” Ashton said to Jim Hamilton on RugbyPass’ All Access podcast this week.
“You’ve got Semi on one wing and Josh on the other – I had to play 15. If I’d ever catch the ball at fullback, I’d just fling a pass to them, no matter how far they were I’d just throw it to them. They are two of the biggest freaks of nature I have come across on a rugby pitch, especially Semi.
“[Semi] obviously had a big NRL background, so he was in Australia for a long time from a young age learning and being around professional rugby, where not a lot of the Fijians do this.
“So for Semi to go to Oz and get used to training from a young age, it’s now just in him to be like that. He likes training, he likes weights, he likes doing skills and stuff and just has that NRL professional rugby league mentality.
“On the pitch, he would do things that I’ve never seen people do. When people are backing off in defence sometimes, they will wait and wait to try and drift. He would wait and as soon as someone gave him a shoulder he’d just push them over in the wrong direction and go through that space. You’ve got to be thinking a lot through your head to be able to see that and execute it so fast.”
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