Chris Ashton says New Zealand are “beatable” but he has warned England will have to be at their best at Twickenham on Saturday.
England began their autumn campaign with a 12-11 win over South Africa last weekend but Ashton believes there will be no room for error against the All Blacks live on Sky Sports.
“Anyone on the day is beatable, it’s just that they win a lot more times than other teams do,” Ashton told Sky Sports News.
“They win so many in the last few minutes of the game, it’s something you can’t ever give up on. If you’re off on any one little bit of your game you’re going to get hit.
England vs New Zealand
November 10, 2018, 2:00pm
“It’s a great occasion playing them at Twickenham and hopefully I will get the opportunity to be part of it.”
Ashton ended four years in the international wilderness by coming off the bench for the last 10 minutes against the Springboks as a replacement for Jack Nowell.
“I was obviously over the moon, a little bit on edge watching the game, you want to be involved so much but I was so happy to get on,” Ashton added. “It’s been a long time, four years is a long time in rugby.
“It feels like a long journey to get back so it was quite a proud moment for me to get back out there.”
Eddie Jones has talked about the importance of discipline against New Zealand but Ashton rejects suggestions they need to play with more pace.
The 31-year-old said: “International rugby is high [pace], I know it may not have appeared it at the weekend, but it is high because attacking and defending is so quick. There are quite a few breaks in the game and when the ball is in play it is going.
“New Zealand probably keep the ball in play a lot more than others, they’re likely to attack so I imagine it will be a very different game to last weekend.”
Aston was part of the England team that beat New Zealand 38-21 at Twickenham in December 2012. The world champions, who had not lost for 20 matches, were completely outplayed but Ashton does not think England can take anything from that game six years on.
He added: “It was a big achievement to beat New Zealand who were on such a long winning streak at the time but there has been such a change in players, coaches and environment, the mindset is completely different.
“We’ve moved on a lot so apart from personal achievement I think it’s hard for the group to take anything from it.”
#Followtherose this autumn with all of England’s Tests live on Sky Sports throughout November. The action continues on Saturday against New Zealand before clashes against Japan and Australia
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