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Leicester reveal decision on Chris Ashton red card hearing approach

By PA
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Leicester are ready to contest Chris Ashton’s red card that could rule him out of Tigers’ Gallagher Premiership playoff clash against Sale. The 36-year-old former England wing was sent off for a high tackle on Harlequins’ Cadan Murley during Leicester’s 20-17 defeat last Saturday.

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Ashton, the Premiership’s record try-scorer, will retire at the end of this season, but he could now be banned by disciplinary chiefs. If Ashton is suspended then his hopes of featuring in the play-off – and possibly the Premiership final on May 27 – will be over.

“When we get the date of the hearing, which I would have thought would be Wednesday, we will contest it,” Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth said. “It will be this week and if we get it turned around he will be available (for the playoff).

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How Chris Ashton wants to be remembered | Rugby Roots

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How Chris Ashton wants to be remembered | Rugby Roots

“The slipping and the dipping, there were mitigating factors in the tackle and the mitigating factors are why we think it is a yellow (card) and not a red. I am not calling anything dodgy. I know they have got a difficult job. We just want everything to be clear and obvious.

“If it is a high level of force and danger, then the red card is there to protect players. They have got to get it right, that is their job. We have got to get our tactics right, the players have got to get themselves right and they have got to get those decisions right.”

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Wigglesworth would have no problem, given the time frame, regarding Ashton’s readiness to face Sale on Sunday if he received a green light. “Chris will know his stuff and be good to go,” Wigglesworth added. “He is experienced and he will still have a training day knowing he is in the starting team if that happens, so that wouldn’t be a problem for us.”

Premiership champions Leicester face a team that finished one place and 10 points above them across the 20-game regular season. Saracens meet Northampton in the other play-off, meaning a repeat of last year’s final between Leicester and Saracens is possible.

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1 Comment
M
Michael Röbbins (academic and writer extraordinair 405 days ago

Whole “disciplinary” structures in rugby union are as punitive as an OT god on a power trip. Horrible for a game that will never “take off” as so many claim to desire yet continually, explicitly call for its suiciding upon itself week after week. Has any sport of this magnitude been so utterly blind before? E.g. Just this past weekend, commentators calling for a yellow card for something that was barely worthy of a penalty in the Toulouse match; Jesus Wept.

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