Chris Ashton scored two tries as Saracens cruised to a 53-10 win over Bath
Ashton's Saracens gave notice to the Premiership and the rest of Europe that they are ready for the business end of the season with this eight-try demolition of sorry Bath.
Ashton, who scored two tries and made one, won his 39th and last England cap in June 2014 but Mark McCall believes Lions' coach Warren Gatland could do worse than have a look at both his wingers – Ashton and Sean Maitland who scored three tries between them.
All of Saracens' current England men turned up in style, a week after losing the Grand Slam, with Billy and Mako Vunipola, Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Maro Itoje all having big games and it was too much for the visitors.
But Ashton stood out, scoring his tries after the big forwards had pummelled Bath into submission.
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McCall said: "Chris was really good, you could see what a clever rugby player he is. He did a lot of things in the game that people don't give him credit for in terms of the attacking kicks used and where he pops up.
"Sean Maitland on our other wing was good and the two of them gave performances that Warren Gatland might be interested in. Sean got injured during the Six Nations and lost his pace in the Scotland team – he was outstanding as well. Chris showed enough out there to make people curious and to have a look."
Billy Vunipola, who looked short of a gallop for England in Dublin, was back to his bludgeoning best and that spells bad news for anyone expecting last year's double winners to roll over.
They have a European quarter-final against Glasgow on Sunday and the Scots' coaching staff will be watching the video of this hiding from behind the sofa – the last half an hour was as good as it gets.
Saracens coach Mark McCall reckons Warren Gatland should consider Chris Ashton for the Lions squad
McCall said: "The last half an hour is the kind of performance we're after. The bench came on and did a fantastic job and we just took our game to a different level in that last half hour and we're going to need that next weekend."
Bath were in touch at 17-10 at half-time but Saracens quickly put the game to bed before accelerating away into the distance winning the second half 36-0.
They had the bonus point on the hour when Schalk Brits rumbled over from a driving line-out and then took the handbrake off. Itoje and the Vunipolas enjoyed the open spaces and the backs cashed in as Saracens put the pressure on with and without the ball.
Ashton latched on to a lobbed pass from Brits for his first score and was gifted his second when Duncan Taylor intercepted a pass from Bath centre Ben Tapuai.
In between, Billy Vunipola barged from short range and by the time George Ford was replaced with three minutes left Bath were gone and they were waving the white flag.
Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder said: "We had no answer to the pressure. We gifted Saracens the ball and they just kept attacking us – it felt like we were always defending. It didn't look like we had a lot of fight when we were going backwards which is disappointing. We are a better team than that."
Bath are now three points behind Leicester, who are fourth, with four rounds of the Premiership left and the pair meet in a fortnight at Twickenham in a match billed as The Clash – but it could be a play-off for a play-off spot.
This was Bath's worst Premiership defeat for 15 years and they were steamrollered by a Saracens machine.
Saracens' captain Brad Barritt said: "Often in games you let teams off the hook when you go two scores clear – the pleasing thing about today was our relentlessness."
Saracens: Tries – George, Goode, Maitland, Brits, Barritt, Ashton (2), B Vunipola. Cons – Farrell (5). Pen – Farrell.
Bath: Try – Watson. Con – Ford. Pen – Ford.