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Chris Ashton returns for Harlequins in his 'Toulon position'

Chris Ashton /Getty Images

Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard has named the team to travel to Gloucester this weekend as Chris Ashton returns to fitness to start at fullback, his position of choice at Toulon.


Returning to fitness, Ashton starts in the fullback jersey in place of the rested Mike Brown, alongside wingers Cadan Murley and Nathan Earle, in an otherwise unchanged backline from the side that travelled to Northampton.

“It’s great to see Chris Ashton, like James, return from injury this week. We’re looking forward to seeing him play in the absence of one of our standout performers last week in Mike Brown, who is rested this week against Gloucester,” said Harlequins boss Gustard.

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Ashton excelled at fullback for Toulon, breaking the Top 14 season try record, largely from 15.

Harlequins travel to Gloucester in the search for back-to-back wins at Kingsholm Stadium, having claimed a 28-15 win in round 20 of the 2019/20 season earlier this year.

Number eight Alex Dombrandt leads the side once more with regular Club captain Stephan Lewies narrowly missing out through injury, with the back row having captained Quins during a record-breaking 49-29 victory over Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend.

In the pack, flanker James Chisholm is rotated into the side at blindside having featured from the bench last time out, with Tom Lawday rotating into the side’s Impact Players this weekend.


Also amongst the Impact Players, Samoa international hooker Elia Elia returns to the matchday 23 having served a suspension for receiving a red card against Wasps towards the end of the 2019/20 season.

“Stephan Lewies just misses out on selection this time around due to injury. In his absence, we felt that Alex [Dombrandt] did a magnificent job captaining the team in a good performance last weekend against Northampton Saints, so he will once again wear the captain’s arm band,” said Gustard. “James Chisholm is rotated in at six for the outstanding Tom Lawday, who moves to the Impact Players on rotation as James continues his rehabilitation from the injury that ruled him out of the final two games of last season.

Harlequins Starting XV:
1.Santiago Garcia Botta (24)
2.Scott Baldwin (20)
3. Wilco Louw (6)
4. Matt Symons (46)
5. Glen Young (22)
6. James Chisholm (98)
7. Will Evans (23)
8. Alex Dombrandt (54) – Captain
9. Danny Care (285)
10. Marcus Smith (88)
11. Cadan Murley (36)
12. Andre Esterhuizen (7)
13. Luke Northmore (10)
14. Nathan Earle (32)
15. Chris Ashton (6)

Impact Players:
16. Elia Elia (54)
17. Jordan Els (4)
18. Simon Kerrod (30)
19. Hugh Tizard (2)
20. Tom Lawday (20)
21. Scott Steele (8)
22. Tyrone Green (1)
23. Paul Lasike (26)


Unavailable for selection:
Joe Marler, Joe Marchant

Unavailable due to injury:
Joe Gray, George Head, Craig Trenier, Will Collier, Dino Lamb, Tevita Cavubati, Stephan Lewies, Martin Landajo, Brett Herron, Michele Campagnaro, Aaron Morris


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