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Sarries ponder appeal of suspension over Ashton gouge

By Alex Lowe

Published 23/01/2016

Saracen's Chris Ashton
Saracen's Chris Ashton

Saracens are considering whether to appeal the 10-week suspension issued to Chris Ashton after receiving the written judgement of the verdict which has ruled him out of England's entire RBS 6 Nations.

Ashton has been banned for making contact with the eye or eye area of Ulster centre Luke Marshall during a first-half challenge in last Saturday's Champions Cup victory at Allianz Park.

The 28-year-old wing pulled Marshall to the ground with his left arm while grabbing his opponent's face with his right hand.

"We have received the written judgement and are digesting the information," a Saracens spokesman said.

"We will discuss it with our legal team before deciding whether to appeal."

The Aviva Premiership champions now have 72 hours to decide whether to contest the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, held on Wednesday. In the written judgement which was published yesterday afternoon, it is revealed that judicial officer Jean Noel Couraud viewed the tackle as a red card offence that exposed Marshall to the risk of serious injury.

Ashton's legal team argued that the contact with Marshall's face was entirely accidental and unintended, but Couraud rejected this defence in the belief he had acted recklessly.

Couraud's findings state that: "The player clearly grabbed the victim player's face and put his right hand in the eyes or eye area of his opponent."

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