New Harlequins winger Chris Ashton has lifted the lid on the sudden manner of his exit from Sale Sharks last week.


Steve Diamond, his boss at the Manchester club, had claimed the ex-England back departed due to a “difference of opinion”.

Sharks announced on Monday of last week that the winger was departing with immediate effect after the club reached a mutual agreement with the 32-year-old regarding the termination of his contract.

Diamond said the following day: “There is no situation, just a disagreement on how we want to play the game. He wants to do it one way, I want to do it another and that’s it, so end of story.”

However, Ashton has now had his say on a dramatic departure which resulted in him being announced as a Harlequins player two days after he was released by Sale.  

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast, Ashton explained: “I didn’t feel as though we had the relationship that I’d hoped for. 

“We did bang heads on a few things but it’s only because I wanted the club to get better and win. It was never any other way than that.


“It is a shock that Steve said that and it’s a shock he said it to me last Monday night, that he felt that way. I could have gone in and said I want to change this opinion you have of me but I didn’t necessarily believe it was right.

“After I got home from my meeting (with Diamond) my mum and missus said ‘what’s wrong with you’. I must have been as white as some kitchen cupboards. They said ‘what’s up?’ ‘I haven’t got a job, I don’t think I’ve got a job’ – it was that fast.”

Ashton linked up with Harlequins shortly after leaving Sale but he wasn’t included in their squad for last Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership loss at Bristol.

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