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School's out for Tomkins and Ashton
Chris Ashton will his shake his head in disbelief if he lines up alongside Joel Tomkins when England host Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
The pair were team-mates at Wigan Warriors before switching codes to rugby union, but they first met when they played against each other as six-year-olds.
Ashton is set to reclaim his place on the right wing while Tomkins is the likely starter at outside centre when head coach Stuart Lancaster names his team on Thursday morning.
"We'd been at school playing together from the age of 11 and then we played right through until I left Wigan," Ashton said.
"If you'd told us when we were at Wigan Under-18s that we would be playing England rugby union together, I'd have given you long odds.
"It's unusual to say the least - him coming over and doing so well and getting in the position of having a chance to play on Saturday. It's pretty strange, but good strange.
"We were pretty level when playing in the first team at Wigan. It would never have been in either of our heads to move to rugby union.
"My move came out of the blue. He'd seen a little bit of what I was doing and from what I told him he wanted to give it a go."
Rested for the summer tour to Argentina and overlooked by the British and Irish Lions, Ashton's last international outing was the 30-3 mauling by Wales in March - a defeat that ended England's Grand Slam dream.
"I'm not nervous, although I'm sure I will be before the game if I do get the chance," Ashton said.
"The last time I played was against Wales and that didn't go too well for me or the team.
"We all have a bit of a marker to put down. Me on a personal level because how the previous games went.
"I have to do well and make sure no-one is calling for me to be dropped."