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Chris Ashton set for return after 10-week ban when Saracens visit Bath

England wing Chris Ashton will make his comeback after a 10-week ban when Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens tackle Bath at the Recreation Ground on Friday.

Ashton has been sidelined since Saracens' European Champions Cup pool victory over Ulster in January.

The 29-year-old was suspended after being cited for making contact with Ulster player Luke Marshall's eye area during that game at Allianz Park. A subsequent appeal by Ashton against the ban was rejected.

Ashton, who had appeared to be on course for an England return under new head coach Eddie Jones for this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, saw those hopes of an international recall dashed.

A strong end to the season with Saracens, though, could see him firmly in the frame for England's June tour to Australia that features Tests against the Wallabies in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Ashton has scored 19 tries in 39 England appearances, but he has not played Test rugby since June 2014.

"Chris' attitude has been really good," Saracens rugby director Mark McCall said, ahead of the Bath clash.

"He has worked hard on his game throughout the 10-week period, and I know he is itching to get out there playing once again.

"He was in great form before the suspension came along, and he is going to provide something different to our team with his X-factor.

"We are looking forward to seeing him back out on the pitch on Friday."


From Belfast Telegraph