Aviva Premiership
Ashton excited to link up with Farrell
ESPNscrum Staff
April 29, 2012
England winger Chris Ashton under the watchful eye of coach Andy Farrell, England training session, Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, England, February 2, 2012
Chris Ashton is keen to work with Andy Farrell on a permanent basis © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Chris Ashton | Andy Farrell
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: England | Saracens

Chris Ashton has revealed that the presence of Andy Farrell was a major reason for his summer switch from Northampton to Saracens.

The England winger is keen to work with the former rugby league star - a legend at his hometown club, Wigan - on a full-time basis after linking up with him during the Six Nations.

Farrell, assistant to Mark McCall at Sarries, recently turned down the opportunity to join Stuart Lancaster's staff on a permanent basis in order to remain with Saracens, having helped turn around the national side's fortunes in the wake of the Rugby World Cup.

Ashton - who has scored 15 tries in 23 Tests for England - admitted that the chance to work with Farrell again outweighed any financial gain from the transfer, with the presence of former Wigan centre Joel Tomkins on the Saracens roster another boost.

"I'm pretty happy with Andy's decision - he's the main reason I went there," Ashton told The Rugby Paper. "It wasn't so much the offer because your market value is relatively the same, it was more about taking the next step in my life.

"From being where I was at Wigan to getting the chance to go and play under Andy is a big thing for me and with Joel Tomkins there as well him staying is a massive plus and I'm very grateful for that.

"Seeing the effect Andy had on England during the Six Nations, anyone who was in that squad can see the positives he brought. It's unfortunate for England he decided not to stay, but it's a big positive for Saracens.

"He's got a lot of strengths but he's an exceptionally good motivator. He knows how to say the right thing at the right time to get lads in the right place and he works real hard and puts a lot of time into his job to help you improve as a player."

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