Chris Ashton will miss England’s entire Six Nations campaign
The Sarries winger has been handed a 10-week ban that ends on 28 March
Ashton had just been recalled to the England squad 18 months after his last appearance
Eddie Jones has left the door open for Ashton to return to the fold
England head coach Eddie Jones says Chris Ashton must take his 10-week ban for gouging which has ruled him out of the Six Nations ‘on the chin’ and has left the door open for the wing to return.
The 28-year-old, who was in line to make his Test comeback after a 17-month exile, was found guilty of making contact with the eyes of Ulster centre Luke Marshall during Saracens Champions Cup clash last weekend.
Jones, who recalled Ashton last week, told Sky Sports: “When you’re suspended you’ve got to take it on the chin and get on with it.
“Players have these sorts of setbacks. I’m sure he’s a good enough player to get over it and serve out his time if the suspension happens and then get back into it.’
Ashton had been cited by the match citing commissioner, Yves Thieffine of France, for making contact with the eye or eye area of Marshall in the 16th minute of Saracens 33-17 victory at Allianz Park on Saturday.
Match referee Jerome Garces asked for the incident to be reviewed by the television match official but although Ashton was penalised for a dangerous tackle, Garces said the evidence was not conclusive about contact with the eye area.
Both Ashton and EPCR have the right to appeal the sanction.
Jones will now have to consider a replacement for Ashton in his 33-man squad which is due to meet up on Sunday night at Pennyhill Park to begin preparations for the Six Nations.