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ASH, BANG WALLOP! Chris thrilled ... even if kids end up in casualty.

Byline: Adam Hathaway

CHRIS ASHTON has caused all sorts of damage in the current Six Nations - and he has got a letter from an angry dad to prove it.

Ashton has scored six tries in three games and celebrated most of them with his infamous swallow dive but one of his young fans landed himself in hospital trying to impersonate his idol.

Young second row Jimmy Crame was trying out his 'Ash Splash' after training with Beccles RFC under-13s, in Suffolk, but ended up in casualty with a broken arm and a broken finger.

Jimmy's stepdad Chris Capps-Jenner, wrote to the Northampton winger and to a rugby mag about the injury, but Ashton is still down with the kids as he found out when England trained at St Edward's School in Oxford 10 days ago.

Shouting He said: "There were quite a few kids at the school shouting stuff and doing a few dives.

"That's the whole reason we play - it's great to see kids taking notice of what we are doing and copying us.

"I actually got a letter off this lad's dad - the boy had gone to dive and had broken his arm."

Ashton thinks it's tough on young Jimmy, but he added: "If that means that comes with us winning and playing well then it's good.

"It was all about excitement and the want of scoring tries."

Whatever the gin and tonic brigade at Twickenham think about Ashton's over-the-top celebrations they can't deny he has helped breathe fresh life into an England team that had gone stale a year ago. The 23-year-old along with fellow youngsters Ben Foden, Ben Youngs and Tom Wood has given Martin Johnson's team a massive shot in the arm in World Cup year.

Johnno has even been cracking smiles at the team hotel this week, three wins on the spin and having practical jokers like Ashton, who made his first start a year ago, about has softened English rugby's hardest man.

Ashton added: "It's not just me but I think there are a lot of lads who have brought freshness to the team.

"Maybe we have sparked some of the older lads and refreshed them. Winning is a big part of it, as soon as you start winning, everything is going alright and everyone feels confident. The way we play has changed a lot. I think Martin looked upon it as a chance to give a few lads who hadn't had a go a game against France last year. It was a good opportunity to give us a chance."

Ashton's wing partner Mark Cueto is now the old man of the back three at 31 and has been playing out of his skin along with Ashton and Foden.

Cueto said: "There are a lot of things going right, the environment is a lot more relaxed but when things are going well. There is continuity and that plays a massive part in what you see going on with England.

"For myself Fodes and Ashy this will be the 11th game we have played together on the spin and that makes a huge difference. We know what we like to do and what we don't like to do.

"Although they are young and relatively inexperienced their confidence and their ability more than makes up for that. We have got a really grounded group of guys who just want to go out and score tries and put on a show."

Scottish coach Andy Robinson gave Cueto his England debut in 2004 before being sacked in 2006 after a poor run.

Cueto added: "There is massive pressure on everyone involved and unfortunately the way rugby is going, like football if a few results don't go your way the guy at the top gets the criticism and the chop. That was the way with Robbo and England.

"Robbo is a very passionate guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, he is intense and loves the international scene and I have got huge respect for him."

CAPTION(S):

FLYING HIGH: England star Chris Ashton shows off his infamous swallow dive
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Mar 13, 2011
Words:683
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