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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Bloemfontein
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 18 14 1 3 69
Exeter Chiefs 18 11 3 4 64
Saracens 18 13 1 4 63
Leicester Tigers 18 11 0 7 51
Bath 18 10 0 8 48
Harlequins 18 10 0 8 47
Northampton Saints 18 9 0 9 45
Gloucester 18 6 2 10 40
Newcastle Falcons 18 7 0 11 36
Sale Sharks 18 5 1 12 30
Worcester Warriors 18 4 2 12 26
Bristol 18 3 0 15 17