London - Saracens will not appeal the 13-week ban handed out
to wing Chris Ashton for biting, the English and European champions said on
Friday, but they will continue to back him.
Ashton was punished for biting Northampton's Alex Waller
during a Premiership match last weekend.
A three-member disciplinary panel found on Tuesday that
Ashton bit Waller on the arm in the 24th minute of Saracens' 27-12 win, but
cleared him of a charge that he bit him again one minute later.
The punishment keeps Ashton out of action until December 19
and means he will be ruled out of the November internationals, delaying his
prospects of a return to England duty.
Saracens had the option to appeal against the suspension -
just Ashton's latest - but the London club's director of rugby, Mark McCall,
said: "The club has been fully supportive of Chris throughout this process
and we are naturally disappointed to lose a player of his calibre for 13 weeks.
"We put forward what we thought was a strong case for
both charges to be dismissed but the decision to suspend Chris is one that we
accept. No appeal will be lodged.
"We will continue to support Chris during his enforced
time away from playing and help prepare him for his return to action in December."
The 29-year-old received a 10-week ban last season for
making contact with the eye area of Ulster back Luke Marshall in a European
Champions Cup game, ruling him out of this year's Six Nations.
Ashton, known for his "Ash Splash" try
celebration, has 39 England caps but he hasn't played for his country since
facing New Zealand in 2014.
Six Nations champions England will play South Africa, Fiji,
Argentina and Australia in their upcoming Tests in November and early December.