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Eddie Jones: Chris Ashton has to take responsibility for 10-week suspension

Published 21/01/2016

Chris Ashton will have to wait for an England return after being hit by a lengthy ban
Chris Ashton will have to wait for an England return after being hit by a lengthy ban

England head coach Eddie Jones insists Chris Ashton must accept the consequences of the reckless tackle that has ruled him out of the entire RBS 6 Nations.

Saracens are deciding whether to contest the 10-week suspension incurred for making contact with the eye or eye area of Ulster centre Luke Marshall in the first half of Saturday's 33-17 Champions Cup victory.

The Aviva Premiership leaders have 72 hours until after the written judgement is received to decide whether to lodge an appeal and Jones' sympathy for the wing has its limits.

"Chris has got to take responsibility for it. Is the suspension too hard? No. That's the suspension he's got. One hundred per cent the onus is on him to make sure he doesn't get into that position," Jones said.

"But I am disappointed for him. He was a player in our squad. He's been playing well this season and it looks like he has been working hard.

"He's got that enthusiasm to get the ball and has been one of the form players in the Premiership.

"He has a real sniff for the try line and that is a skill in itself. It's a set-back. Everyone has set-backs and it's about how hard he fights back now.

"He has to serve his time, come back, make sure he is looking after his fitness, his speed and his skills and make sure he comes back in good fettle.

"If he is back on the field and playing well then he will be available for selection again. I'm very disappointed for him and disappointed for the team, but we move on."

Jones will announce Ashton's replacement in the elite player squad only once the appeal process is completed.

It is a savage blow for Ashton, who had fought his way back into the England squad after falling out of favour under the previous regime because of his perceived defensive frailties.

He has spent the previous 18 months in international exile but had been earmarked to start on the right wing against Scotland on February 6 and his absence robs England of their deadliest finisher, who has crossed 19 times in 39 Tests.

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