Rugby

Sale sign Ashton in hammerblow for Toulon

2018-07-04 10:05
Chris Ashton (Getty)

London - Chris Ashton signed for Sale on Tuesday in a hammerblow for Toulon, where the free-running wing/fullback enjoyed an outstanding season last year.

Toulon released Ashton from the final two years of his contract at his own request, citing family reasons.

The decision freed the former Northampton and Saracens back Ashton to return to the Premiership, and therefore potentially open up a route back to England selection.

Toulon said Ashton was "no longer in a psychological condition to remain in France, and therefore with Toulon, because of important family problems".

Ashton, 31, joined Toulon last year and enjoyed an outstanding first season in the Top 14, setting a new try-scoring record of 24 in 23 games.

The move, however, precluded him from England selection and there had been speculation in recent weeks that the prospect of an international recall might tempt him to return to the Premiership.

Ashton, who has 39 caps, had previously been out of favour with England coach Eddie Jones.

The Toulon statement added: "Toulon wishes Chris Ashton good luck in pursuing his sporting career."

Sale released a statement soon after news of Ashton's release confirming they had completed a deal with the player.

The move takes Ashton back to his native north-west, where he began his professional sporting career in rugby league with Wigan.

Ashton said: "This really feels like going home. I've always thought, in the back of my mind, that I'd return to the north to play rugby and I'm delighted to be joining Sale Sharks."

Ashton made no mention of any international ambitions in the statement, focusing on his commitment to the Sharks.

He said: "In Toulon, I've added to the experience I gained at Saracens. There are many players at Sale Sharks with whom I'm looking forward to playing.

"I'm not coming to rest on my laurels. I feel I've got a lot of rugby left in me and would like to make an impact and help to take the club back to their winning ways of 2006."

Read more on:    sale  |  chris ashton  |  rugby

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

The Springboks' best player at the 2019 Rugby World Cup was:

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.