Ashton spurred by Lions snub
Chris Ashton believes a summer of reflection has made him determined to re-establish himself as a lynchpin for Saracens and England this season.
The winger capped an impressive performance with the only try for Sarries in their 22-12 win at Harlequins on Saturday.
The 26-year-old missed out on a place in the British and Irish Lions squad last summer and was then rested for England's tour to Argentina, although he was named in the most recent elite player squad.
"I was sitting at home watching the Lions and England tours and it was difficult viewing. That spurs you on that little bit more," Ashton said.
"Last year did not go the way I wanted it to and I was ready to change things. I like to think I'm starting to do that.
"I may have got down last year but it's rugby and I do it because I enjoy it. I had to get back to enjoying it and this season I am.
"I wanted to be involved in the summer but having a rest mentally was probably a good thing. It was time to sit at home and let other lads have a go.
"It gave England a good chance to look at some other lads. They played well and it was tough to watch, but I was glad to get the rest."
Ashton's predatory instincts were evident at the Twickenham Stoop as he grabbed his second try in four matches, although question marks remain over his defence after he was easily skinned by Quins wing Ugo Monye.
"It's always good to score tries, but I was just as happy with my game last week and the week before despite not scoring," Ashton said.
"I have tried hard to develop more of an all round game and not just be there for scoring tries."