Chris Ashton says he’d love to be included in the Lions squad when it is announced tomorrow and admits this summer’s tour to Australia has been playing on his mind all season.

The England winger has enjoyed an upturn in form of late after a disappointing Six Nations campaign that saw Wales lift the trophy.

Ashton believes Wales’ triumph gives their players an advantage with regards to Lions selection but remains hopeful his name will be on the list.

“Throughout this year it’s something that’s been at the back of everyone’s mind and it’s a little bit of a distraction even though you try not to think it is,” he said.

“You know it’s there and you know it’s coming and it’s not like you’re getting selected for England you’re getting selected for every nation so it’s a massive thing and you want to be part of it.

“It only comes every four years so I’d love to be in that squad but I think the Wales game for England swung it more the way of the Welsh boys a little bit.

“They have been the best team really for two years so I could understand that but there’s nothing we can do now we just have to wait and see.

“But it’s been good to be back at the club - I would have liked to have won today and had a good game but it wasn’t to be so we’ll have to see what happens.”

A number of Saracens players are in the frame for a call-up but Ashton believes it’s impossible to predict who will get the nod.

He said: “I think Owen’s had a really good year, I think Brad’s had a really good year, [Alex] Goode’s doing well, Kelly Brown, Steve Borthwick - even though he’s not in the England team he’s always outstanding every week for Saracens.

“I think there’s a lot of people, I don’t think anybody really knows which way it’s going to go but I think there’s a lot of lads in our team that have done well this year and have put their hands up for a spot.”

Ashton converted from rugby league to rugby union in March 2007, the same year the Lions toured South Africa.

And the 26-year-old says changing codes, and watching that tour unfold, revealed how much the Lions means to the players.

He said: “I didn’t really know too much about the Lions until I changed codes.

“It was four years ago when it was around last time when I actually got a real feel for it and a real understanding of what it’s like and how much everyone gets involved with it and you want to be a part of that.

“A few of the lads in South Africa put so much into it, I’ve always remembered the interview with Simon Shaw after the second game when he was in tears and he wanted it so much.

“You want to be a part of that and not let it get away from you.”

Saracens return to Premiership action on Saturday when they host Bath and Ashton believes the defeat to Toulon in the Heineken Cup will strengthen the team’s resolve to win a trophy.

“I don’t think we have to pick ourselves up, we know what the task in hand is and I think now it spurs us on to make it even better and make it work for us,” he added.

“It’s been a long year and we’ve had a good year - this team is all about making memories and this club has already won a Premiership final, we’ve done it once, so I don’t know why we can’t do it again.”