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Ashton back in Eddie Jones' England squad after Premiership return

The 31-year-old joined Sale Sharks from Toulon this summer.

CHRIS ASHTON HAS been included in England’s pre-season training squad after returning to the Premiership in order to revive his international career.

31-year-old Ashton has not added to his 39 caps since Eddie Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster as England boss, partly due to a succession of bans, but having swapped French club Toulon for Sale this summer he is back in contention.

England’s Chris Ashton Ashton is back in the England squad. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

“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.”

Hooker 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 2018 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.

Ireland’s  CJ Stander is tackled by England’s Dylan Hartley and Mako Vunipola Dylan Hartley makes his return. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Still missing due to “injury, fitness or other” reasons are prop Dan Cole, centre Jonathan Joseph, centre Manu Tuilagi, scrum-half Danny Care and full-back Anthony Watson.

Jones has called up a number of promising players and new faces in the likes of Harlequins flyer Gabriel Ibitoye, powerful Saracens lock Joel Kpoku, Leicester’s Jordan Olowofela and Saracens back row Michael Rhodes.

England squad:

Backs:

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Forwards:

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Northampton Saints), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers), Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).

Not considered for selection due to injury/fitness/other:

Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins) Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

© AFP 2018 

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