New Toulon wing Chris Ashton admitted on Wednesday he’s shut the door on his England career with a move to the Top 14 but revealed he’ll carry on showboating.
In signing a three-year contract with Toulon, Ashton ended his chances of international call-up given England’s refusal to pick overseas-based players.
“Obviously that ended something if anything I had going with England international rugby,” revealed Ashton.
“Contacts with Toulon started relatively soon after I got banned.”
Ashton was sidelined for 13 weeks last season for biting, having picked up a 10-week ban the season previous for eye gouging.
“I saw it as an opportunity that arose at that time and something I asked Saracens to let me think about.”
Asked whether he had talked with England coach Eddie Jones, Ashton said: “No, I think he did ring and leave a message, but I haven’t spoken to him about this.
“I think his decision was already made up before anyway, after the time I got banned.
“Me coming here was a clean start for me, a refresh, and I knew that would cancel out England, but obviously I was ready for a change.”
Ashton insisted he would stick with his trademark swallow dives to score tries despite the act infuriating so many rugby traditionalists.
“Yes, definitely I understand it (annoying some people),” he acknowledged.
“But there are two sides to it. For every child or kid that comes over to me and loves it, (that) outweighs someone who doesn’t.”