Six Nations

Six Nations Championship 2016

Will he ever learn? Saracens winger Chris Ashton gets 13-week ban for biting

England international found guilty following incident involving Northampton prop Alex Waller while playing in the Premiership last Saturday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2016, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 September, 2016, 11:05am

An international recall for winger Chris Ashton was considered remote after he was banned for 13 weeks for biting by the English Rugby Football Union.

Ashton was found guilty of biting Northampton prop Alex Waller on the arm while playing for Saracens last Saturday in the Premiership.

A second charge of biting, a minute later in the match, was dismissed.

A minimum 12-week ban was enforced, and a week added on because Ashton was suspended in January for 10 weeks for making contact with the eye area of Ulster back Luke Marshall during a European Rugby Champions Cup game.

Watch: Will Greenwood on Chris Ashton alleged biting controversy

“During the course of a ruck, Chris Ashton bit the arm of Alex Waller at a time that Mr Waller was attempting to clear him out,” Philip Evans, chairman of the Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel, said in a statement.

“The panel concluded it was a low-end entry point aggravated by his previous record.”

Ashton was not free to play rugby again until December 19, although he can appeal.

Capped 39 times, he hasn’t played for England since the middle of 2014.

Watch: The reason Chris Ashton was banned earlier this year

He was in the Six Nations squad this year but was dropped after the eye raking ban.

He wasn’t picked for the tour of Australia, and spurned the Saxons’ trip to South Africa.

He wasn’t expected to be picked in the first elite squad of the season next week and, unlike England captain Dylan Hartley, who has a longer rap sheet, Ashton was no longer considered among the best players in his position in the country.