Rugby Union


Chris Ashton hits out at his treatment by England coach Eddie Jones

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Chris Ashton is happy after turning his back on availability for national selection having moved overseas to play for Toulon.

He’s revelling in the move to full-back at his new club and looks a good bet to break the record - which currently stands at 21 - for the number of tries scored in a Top 14 season, having scored 13 from his first 11 games.

The Wigan-born man’s move to France came after good form in Saracens' colours last year went unrewarded as he was shunned from both the England and Lions squads.

It forced Ashton into a difficult predicament and the former Northampton winger has finally opened up on how he felt about ultimately bringing his international career to a premature end.

At 30, he still had plenty of time on his side but Ashton appeared to take a dig at how he was treated by coach Eddie Jones.

"You know you are trying to impress someone, who I found it impossible to impress in the end," Ashton told Sky Sports.

"I would have rather if he had just said if he doesn't want to know then he doesn't want to know. Then I could have stopped trying to please someone who does not want it.

"Coming here [to Toulon] you don't have that background noise anymore. I have me, I have family and I have Toulon. I came here to be able to express myself playing rugby again without that background noise and I feel that I am doing that and I am enjoying it."

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Saracens - European Rugby Champions Cup Final

Ashton also believes his move to full-back will help with the longevity of his career and providing he can stay injury-free has his sights set on playing for another decade.

He added: "I obviously want to play until I'm 40 - I won't be able to do that on the wing so moving to 15 has helped me.

"As long as I am in the team and playing then I don't mind. I will play anywhere.

"At Sarries they wanted their wingers to be on the wing - don't get me wrong I had the opportunity to go for it but there was a time and a place for it.


"At Toulon and playing at full-back gives me the chance to anticipate more."

It’s a fact that England’s loss is Toulon’s gain. He is a world-class performer who’s scored 37 tries this year, the most in Europe.

But Ashton has also been made an example of and shows that Jones cares little for reputation when deciding his England squad.

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England Rugby
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Chris Ashton
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