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Paul Gustard: 'Chris Ashton defence is improving'

England defence coach Paul Gustard insists that he is not worried about Chris Ashton's tackling ability after the winger was included in the initial Six Nations squad.

England defence coach Paul Gustard has insisted that he does not have any misgivings over the defensive capabilities of Chris Ashton.

The Saracens winger was included in new head coach Eddie Jones's initial 33-man squad for the Six Nations, ending an 18-month period in the international wilderness.

England's previous regime are understood to have had doubts over Ashton's tackling ability, but Gustard believes that he has a strong all-round game and is improving when it comes to the weaker parts of it.

"Chris's all-round game is pretty solid. His try-scoring is something that sets him apart from others," Gustard is quoted as saying by PA.

"He has the willingness to run unselfish lines and selfish lines to make sure he gets the ball over the line. With defence, there is defending and there is tackling. As a defender, Chris is very astute. He plays the back field very well, gets into the line when we need him to.

"And he is working hard on his collisions. He has got better and there is still room for improvement, but as a complete wing, he offers a lot of strengths, a lot of merits."

Ashton has scored 19 tries in 39 caps for England.

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Eddie Jones, the new England Rugby head coach, poses at Twickenham Stadium on November 20, 2015
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