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Chris Ashton: Saracens winger targets England return after ban for biting

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton has scored 19 tries in 39 appearances for England but has not featured since Eddie Jones became head coach of the national side in November 2015

Saracens winger Chris Ashton is aiming to regain his place in the England side when he returns from his 13-week ban for biting Northampton’s Alex Waller.

The last of the 29-year-old’s 39 international appearances came against New Zealand in June 2014.

Ashton will be free to play again on 19 December after Sarries decided not to appeal against his suspension.

“It may seem a long journey back, but I will do everything to get back to where I feel I belong,” he said.

“My clear ambition is first to regain my place in the Saracens team and then to regain my place in the England side.”

Ashton was named in England coach Eddie Jones’ Six Nations squad earlier this year, but was ruled out of the tournament when he received a 10-week ban following an eye-gouging incident in a European Champions Cup game.

And despite helping Saracens win the Premiership title and the Champions Cup last season, he was left out of the England squad which toured Australia in the summer.

The former Northampton player subsequently turned down a call-up to the England Saxons squad for their tour of South Africa.

He maintains his innocence of both the gouging and biting incidents, the latter occurring in Saracens’ 27-12 win over Saints on 17 September.

“Both panels chose to accept the opposing version of events,” he told the Saracens website. “I did not agree with either verdict, but I must and do accept the sanctions.

“I would like to thank Saracens for their support during these times, and I am wholly committed to repaying the faith of all the staff of this special organisation.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37486330