Rugby Union

Mark McCall relieved by Chris Ashton's return to scoring

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is relieved he will no longer be forced to endure Chris Ashton's critical self analysis after the wing ended his try drought by crossing twice against Worcester.

The Aviva Premiership champions romped to a 48-18 victory over Worcester with Ashton touching down for the first time in seven matches this season, his second a smart finish that he celebrated with his trademark swallow dive.

The 28-year-old won the last of his 39 caps 18 months ago and his two tries in the London double header at Twickenham will have been noted by new England coach Eddie Jones, who officially starts his new role on Tuesday.

"We're all delighted that Chris scored because it's been quite draining listening to him!" McCall said.

"Like a good centre forward in football, Chris is one of those great wingers who judges everything that he does on scoring.

"If he doesn't score then he's not satisfied, which I think is a pretty good trait for a winger to have.

"In actual fact, his first six games for us this season have been as good as anything that he's produced in his whole time at the club.

"He's been playing really well and was magnificent against Ulster last weekend. His decision-making, kicking game and defence were outstanding and he contributed to a lot of the tries.

"He deserved to score those tries against Worcester and he was searching for the third, but it just didn't quite happen for him."

Worcester leaked six tries, scoring two themselves but only in the closing moments, and director of rugby Dean Ryan accepts the rout as part of the Warriors' learning curve upon their return to the top flight.

"We always knew it would be a tough day. We always knew coming into the Premiership that we would take some petty serious dents," Ryan said.

"It would be unrealistic to think that we could jump across competitions and then immediately jump to the top end of that.

"This was a sobering lesson but one that we're prepared to take to get better and an insight into how much pressure can be put on the small parts of the game."

Rugby Union

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