McCall: Ashton's Toulon move disappointing

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:54
Large chris ashton saracens 800

REACTION : England wing Chris Ashton's decision to move to French giants Toulon next season ending his successful spell at Saracens is disappointing.

The English side's Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, who guided Saracens to their maiden European Cup trophy last term, told BBC that he believed 29-year-old Ashton could have regained his place in the England squad despite having not played for new coach Eddie Jones.

Two long bans for eye gouging and the latest for biting did him few favours and his snubbing of going on the England Saxons tour in the close season also failed to go down well with Jones.

McCall thinks the former Rugby League star's call to move was based round the uncertainty of his international future.  

"Chris made the decision for him and his family that he was going to call time on his time at Saracens and seek a new challenge.

"It's disappointing for us but we will move on quickly from that," McCall said.

"Chris has done a great job for this club over four-and-a-half seasons and hopefully he can be part of something good again this year. We fully expect him to make a big contribution this season as well."

McCall, who has also delivered two Premiership titles during his spell in charge, said his belief Ashton could have battled his way back into the Test set-up was based round Eddie Jones' willingness to give players another chance.

Ashton, whose most recent international appearance was in June 2014, had indicated a desire to resume his England career which saw him score 19 tries in 39 Tests -- a move to France though would seem to scupper any hopes of that happening.

"I think he is good enough to, yes, and I think Eddie Jones has shown he is open-minded enough to play players who are playing well, and isn't too fussed what they have done in the past," said McCall.

Agence France-Presse

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