LONDON: Chris Ashton has been included in England’s pre-season training squad after returning to the Premiership in order to revive his international career.
Ashton has not added to his 39 caps since Eddie Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster, partly due to a succession of bans, but having swapped Toulon for Sale this summer he is back in contention.
“Chris is an exceptional player, I think we have seen that from his form at Saracens. And then at Toulon he has played exceedingly well,” said Jones.
“He’s come back to England because he wants to play for England so he has got the right desire and the right attitude. It will be good to work with him.”
Dylan Hartley features in the 44-man squad that will participate in a three-day training camp that begins on Saturday.
Hartley missed the summer tour to South Africa due to concussion and has not played since the final match of the Six Nations against Ireland at Twickenham, but has returned to full fitness.
The only players who were involved against the Springboks not present this weekend are flanker Brad Shields, wing Denny Solomona and number eight Billy Vunipola, who was forced home with a recurrence of a fractured arm.
Still missing due to “injury, fitness or other” reasons are prop Dan Cole, centre Jonathan Joseph, centre Manu Tuilagi and full-back Anthony Watson, but there is no mention of scrum-half Danny Care. —AFP