too late to say sarries

10-week ban for gouging Luke Marshall keeps Chris Ashton out of the Six Nations

The winger pleaded not guilty to the offence.

SARACENS AND ENGLAND wing Chris Ashton will miss the Six Nations after being hit with a 10-game ban for eye-gouging Luke Marshall.

Ashton was cited under Law 10.4 (m) for making contact with an opponent’s eye area in the 16th minute of Ulster’s 33 – 17 weekend loss in Allianz Park.


At today’s London hearing, judicial officer Jean-Noel Couraud upheld the complaint and determined that the offence warranted a red card.

Ashton pleaded not guilty to the offence and was handed a 12-week ban, the low end entry point of World Rugby’s disciplinary sanctions.

One week was added to the punishment ‘as a deterrent,’ but then the length of the ban was reduced by three weeks owing to ‘Ashton’s good character and good conduct at the hearing’.

Chris Ashton File Photo PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

The winger will be free to play from Monday 28 March, and so will be available for Saracens’ Champions Cup quarter-final on the weekend of 8 April. However, England head coach Eddie Jones will now have to call up a replacement for the flier named in his squad this week.

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