Forwards and defence coach of Saracens, Alex Sanderson has told RugbyPass that while the club are welcoming back their former winger David Strettle from his time in France, Sale-bound Chris Ashton was “too expensive” for the Premiership champions.


Smiling at the Gallagher Premiership fixture launch, Sanderson continued to suggest that having to buy Ashton out of his Toulon contract was also a contributing factor to not signing him, whilst also joking, “And we don’t like him that much.”

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Ashton broke the Top 14 try-scoring record with Toulon last season but has cited ‘family problems’ as the reason for his move back to the UK. He will also be keenly trying to force Eddie Jones to include him in his England plans in the build towards the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.

As for Ashton’s return to the Premiership, Sanderson said, “It’ll be good to see him. We have missed him. He’s always texting us. He looks as cheeky, as annoying, as cocky as he’s ever looked. I think the Premiership will be all the better for having him back.”

Saracens open their Gallagher Premiership season with a trip to Newcastle Falcons on the opening Sunday of the season.

The closure of Twickenham Stadium in September – for redevelopment work – means there will be no London Double Header this year.


However, Premiership Rugby will break new ground on 6 October when the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Harlequins and Saracens (7.30pm kick off) will be televised live on network TV in the US on NBC (rather than NBC Sports) for the first time.

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