Chris Ashton Hit With Ban That Sees Him Miss The Entire Six Nations
England’s Chris Ashton will miss the entirety of the RBS 6 Nations after he was hit with a 10 week ban for a eye gouging offence on Ulster’s Luke Marshall.
Ashton, who won the last of his 39 England caps more than 18 months ago, was cited for allegedly making contact with the “eye(s) and/or eye area” of Ulster centre Marshall during Saturday’s European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park.
Ashton had been widely backed to make the starting line-up for new coach Eddie Jones’ first game in charge. The Saracens’ wing pleaded not guilty to the offence but the independent Judicial Officer found that Ashton had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.
He determined that that offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.
He added one week as a deterrent according to World Rugby’s memorandum regarding offences of this nature, before reducing the sanction by three weeks due to Ashton’s good character and good conduct at the hearing.
Ashton is free to play on Monday, 28 March 2016. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
Watch the incident here