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Toulon respond to Ashton rumours


Toulon forced to respond to Ashton exit rumours

Toulon have denied Chris Ashton has asked to leave the club and say the former England wing has expressed his desire to sign a contract extension.

Ashton broke the Top 14 try-scoring record in a magnificent first season in France this year after his move from Saracens.

The rugby league convert said he still harbours ambitions of playing for his country after scoring a hat-trick in the Barbarians’ recent victory over Eddie Jones’ side.

It was reported Ashton has requested to have his Toulon contract cancelled in order to head back to his homeland and put himself in the frame for an England recall, but the three-time European champions say he wants to extend his stay at Stade Mayol.

“Following rumours circulating on some media, Toulon confirms that winger Chris Ashton is still under contract with the club for two seasons,” the club said in a statement.

“To date, no request for termination of contract has been made by Chris Ashton. On the contrary, the English winger has asked for an extension of his contract.

“The club is studying this possibility. Any other information disseminated in the media may be considered completely unfounded.”

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Ashton had been strong linked to Sale Sharks.

Speaking before he played for the Barbarians Ashton told RugbyPass that he was “out of the loop completely” when it came to any consideration for a next England cap under Eddie Jones.

Ashton said, “I was always battling to try and get back in while I was here, that’s why I took the decision to go [to France] but I’d like to think the door’s never shut and if I wanted to come back to England, I’d be able to have a shot at it. I like to think it’s not over, I’ve only just turned 31 so there’s time left yet.”

Ashton last played for England in June 2014 against New Zealand in Hamilton but certainly caught the eye in a three-try performance at Twickenham last month when the Baabaas beat England 63-45.

Being based in France rules him out of international contention and it was suggested that 31-year-old Ashton wants to attempt a late dash to make England’s World Cup squad.

All Black Julian Savea had also been touted as Ashton’s replacement at Toulon should he decide to move.

The 27-year-old has dropped down the pecking order with Steve Hansen’s side despite his remarkable strike record with New Zealand, having notched up 46 tries in just 54 Tests since his debut in 2012.

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Toulon forced to respond to Ashton exit rumours