Chris Ashton labels James Lowe as ‘too big, too slow’

Former England international Chris Ashton has labelled James Lowe as ‘too big and too slow’ to be a winger.

Lowe won his second cap for Ireland in the loss to England last weekend, making some good carries and a couple of well-placed kicks.

However, Ashton believes the New Zealand-born winger was partially at fault for Johnny May’s second try as he was nowhere to be seen after the kick ahead.

The Harlequins winger was speaking on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast and implied that Lowe would need to lose weight to excel at international level.

“Jonny [May]’s was a really good try. Even the shanked kick, he managed to outsprint seven players across the pitch. That probably says something about the (Ireland) team.

“If I was a winger on the opposite side of the pitch from Jonny; say I was James Lowe on the Ireland team. When Jonny shanks that kick across the pitch my job is to go across the pitch and get the ball.

“Where was James Lowe? He’s dragging a dresser back there. He’s too big. He’s dragging a tractor, mate, turning. I watched him during the game. He is too big, too heavy, too slow,” Ashton commented.

The former rugby league international was equally unimpressed with Ireland’s tactics, believing they played to England’s strengths by making it such a physical game.

“From Ireland’s point of view, they spoke before the game about what they needed to do. Matching England’s physicality.

“Watching the game, apart from a couple of intelligent kicks which I thought they did a lot of, they just played into England’s hands.

“Easy reading attack, running straight into people… if you’re going to run straight into [Sam] Underhill, Tom Curry, Mako [Vunipola] you’re just going to get banged. That’s exactly what happened.

“The whole England thing now is based on what Saracens have done over the past five, 10 years. They’re in the middle of all of this and they love it.

“They don’t want the ball. England don’t want the ball, they just want to smash you backwards,” Ashton said.

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