Christ Ashton Takes A Swipe At England As He Discusses Toulon Move
Chris Ashton has revealed he decided to leave Saracens for Toulon at the end of the season as he was sick of not getting picked for England.
The winger served two lengthy bans in 2016 for foul play which also weighed heavily on his decision to continue his career in France, effectively ending his international career.
The 29-year-old winger served a 10-week ban for making contact with the eye of Ulster centre Luke Marshall last January, ruling him out of the Six Nations coach Eddie Jones had originally picked him for.
Ashton has been overlooked since, and served a 13-week ban last year for biting Northampton prop Alex Waller.
“I was sick of leaving my international career in other people’s hands,” said Ashton.
“The decision is always made by a coach, and like any player who does not get in I disagreed with that decision. I took it into my own hands not to end my international career, because I hope I will play again one day, but for the time being I chose to go to play rugby abroad.
“I will never give up hope but it makes it harder moving abroad. I am happy with the decision I have taken and it was my choice, not anyone else’s.”
Ashton also revealed why he chose Toulon as his next destination.
“Amazing crowd, not that there isn’t here, great stadium, great fans, and they have a very experienced team that plays some good rugby.
“It was an opportunity that came up and there was never any other club. It was the once I fancied going to and it was pretty straightforward. I always dealt with Mourad Boudjellal and Mike Ford has taken charge since. It is a three-year contract.
“I will just be 33 by the end of it. It is too soon to answer whether I will end my career back in England; you never know what is going to happen. I thought I would stay here for the rest of my career, and that soon changes.”