Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Ashton admits Lions distraction

06th May 2013 13:02


Saracens v Toulon: Chris Ashton

Over-keen: Chris Ashton

Saracens and England winger Chris Ashton admitted that selection for the British and Irish Lions weighed on his mind all season.

Tipped by many to be selected throughout the season, Ashton was left out of Warren Gatland's squad to tour Australia last week.

Alex Cuthbert, Tommy Bowe, George North and Sean Maitland were all selected ahead of Ashton, who suffered a poor Six Nations campaign with England.

With Saracens in the Aviva Premiership playoffs and England's tour to Argentina on the horizon, Ashton admitted that the prospect of playing for the Lions had been a distraction.

"The Lions has been in the back of my mind all year and it's done my head in a little bit," said Ashton to the Mirror.

"You know it's coming and because it's something you so much want to be a part of, it kind of distracts you.

"It shouldn't, it should motivate you to play better. But sometimes that makes you over-keen and want to do too much."