Ashton can give us the X-factor, says Lancaster

ENGLAND head coach Stuart Lancaster is hoping the returning Chris Ashton can rediscover his devastating international form when his side take on Australia at Twickenham tomorrow.

Ashton, who returns from a one-match suspension, has not scored an international try in 2012, having last gone over against Scotland at the Rugby World Cup in October 2011. However the Saracens winger, who is the only change from Saturday’s emphatic victory over Fiji, has managed to damage Australia in the past, scoring three tries in three Tests against the Wallabies.

“We’re looking for a bit of what Chris Ashton delivers in matches,” said Lancaster. “He chases the ball, creates line breaks, makes opportunities for others and takes them himself.”

Australia suffered a thumping 33-6 defeat to France on Saturday but Lancaster expects a backlash.

“The Aussies will have done a lot of work on their own performance this week after losing against the French,” he added. “But the game before that they pushed the All Blacks to 18-18 and they are a very experienced side who have played some very good rugby over the last six months.”

England are targeting a third consecutive victory over Australia for the first time since winning the World Cup in 2003.