Chris Ashton will appeal against his 10-week ban
The suspension would see the wing ruled out of the entire Six Nations
The 28-year-old was cited for making contact with the eyes of Ulster’s Luke Marshall
Saracens winger Chris Ashton will appeal against a 10-week ban that would rule him out of England’s entire 2016 Six Nations campaign.
The 28-year-old speedster was originally punished for making contact with the eyes of Ulster’s Luke Marshall in a European Champions Cup game, but the incident seemed harshly ruled upon considering blatant eye gouging and pushing an official got a similarly hard ban.
Head coach Eddie Jone, who found his disappointment of the ruling hard to hide, said he would wait for the outcome of any appeal before naming a replacement.
However, Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni has been called up as cover and will join up with the England squad until a final decision is made on Ashton’s case later this week.
“Ashton, who pleaded not guilty in the independent disciplinary hearing in London last Wednesday, will be appealing against the level of the sanction imposed,” read a statement from the Premiership champions.
Ashton’s legal team believes the entry-level sanction for the offence of 12 weeks would be “wholly disproportionate” for reasons including his good record and the lack of injury inflicted and requested that any suspension to be reduced by a minimum of 50 per cent.