England wing Chris Ashton admitted his late father, Kevin, would disapprove of his trademark swallow-dive - but even that might not be enough to stop him doing it again.
Ashton’s tendency for a flamboyant celebration has almost overshadowed the fact he has scored a record-equalling six tries in England’s opening two RBS 6 Nations victories over Wales and Italy.
The 23-year-old had vowed there would be no more showboating after the England management warned him of the risks of a flying one-handed finish.
The whole squad were shown a video of former London Irish forward Juan Leguizamon dropping the ball over the line while attempting similar theatrics. But that promise lasted just 127 seconds of England’s 59-13 victory over Italy and he repeated the trick in the closing minutes as he clinched a four-try haul.
Ashton, who has now scored nine tries in nine Tests, has been taken aback by the attention attached to his celebrations.
But he does not regret the dive - and it may well come out again in England’s showdown with France a week on Saturday if his remarkable scoring streak continues.
“It is right to celebrate tries. Scoring tries is what I want to do playing rugby and I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to celebrate in the way you want to,” Ashton said last night.
“It’s just something that happened and that’s the end of it. Everybody dives, everybody scores tries the way they want to score tries. I just happened to do that and it has run away with itself a bit.
“My Mum is worried about me dropping the ball and if my Dad was here, he would be very unhappy about me doing the dive. Very, very unhappy.
“But if the chance comes again? I don’t know, we will have to wait and see. It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing and that’s how it will stay.”