Ashton has been criticised for the manner in which he scores tries. Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ashton defends swallow dive; mocks James Haskell

The England winger has promised to fly home if he drops the ball.

ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL CHRIS Ashton has said he’ll fly home if he drops the ball while doing his infamous swallow dive.

Ashton has been criticised by some, including Martin Johnson, for performing the dive, as critics consider it disrespectful to the opposition.

However, writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Ashton attempted to explain why he chooses to persevere with the dive:

“I’m surprised that people still feel so strongly about that and still talk about it so much. Surely, there should only be criticism if I drop the ball. If I drop it when I do a dive, I will get the plane home!”

The winger also revealed that he receives his fair share of stick from teammates over his insistence on performing the dive, but indicated their jests did not affect him.

“I haven’t been practising in my room or anything like that, but I may have had a little practice in the pool on Monday. They were my perfect-form dives. James Haskell was mocking me but he just can’t handle that I am a much better diver than he is. He is jealous. All he does is get in via the steps and swim around for a bit.”

Ashton also wrote about how the England team have put an end to the squad’s daily awards “after the off-field issues that came up last week”.

England have won both their opening matches so far against Argentina and Georgia, however their displays have been marred by their unconvincing nature, and by the recent dwarf-throwing controversy.

For more information, read the Daily Mail>

Read: Expert view: Kidney should have played a completely new team>

Read: Shane Jennings’s World Cup diary: part two

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