Ashton to leave Saracens for Toulon next year

11:30 AM GMT

Winger Chris Ashton will leave Saracens for Toulon next season in a move that effectively ends his England career.

The 29-year-old will join the French giants for the 2017-18 campaign after five seasons with Saracens, during which he became the club’s leading try scorer and lifted two Aviva Premiership trophies and a European Champions Cup.

With Eddie Jones set to name his England squad for the upcoming autumn Tests on Wednesday — and Englishmen playing abroad not considered for selection unless under ‘exceptional circumstances’ — Ashton is unlikely to add to his 44 caps after opting to move to Stade Mayol.

The rugby league convert, who is currently serving a 13-week suspension for biting, paid tribute to his current employers as he announced the move.

“”I’d like to put on record my thanks to [director of rugby] Mark McCall, our Chairman Nigel Wray and the whole team at Saracens for the manner in which they have dealt with my request to join Toulon next season,” Ashton said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Allianz Park and I have made so many special memories on and off the field.

“I have developed as a player during my time with Sarries but more importantly I have developed as a person, and I will always be indebted to the Club for that.

McCall added: “We would like to thank Chris for his contribution to Saracens over the last five seasons and the role he played in helping us create some incredible memories during that period.

“Chris will still have an important role to play this season and we’ll look forward to seeing him back in action after his suspension.”

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Ashton to leave Saracens for Toulon next year – RUGBY

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