One of the greatest entertainers has had enough after his Red Rose and Lions snub as his glittering career in England ends
CHRIS ASHTON fell victim to rugby’s stuck-up attitude as his glittering career in England comes to an end.
One of the great entertainers has finally had enough and is running away to the circus. . . France’s rollercoaster club Toulon to be precise.
Ash the Splash deserves all the cash, admiration and hero-worshipping that he will get in the south of France.
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The Saracens winger is already the Champions Cup’s record all-time scorer with 37 tries and he’s only 30-years-old.
But not good enough for England or the Lions.
Bungling Stuart Lancaster decided that Ashton’s 19 tries in 39 games wasn’t good enough when he played his last game in a Red Rose shirt against the All Blacks in 2014.
Eddie Jones dubbed the rugby league convert “as mad as a cut snake” when he first took over as England boss.
He immediately picked Ashton – only for the winger to be harshly banned for gouging which ended his Six Nations hopes.
An invite to tour with the Saxons to South Africa in 2016 was politely declined.
It was typical Jones psychology – the Aussie boss knew he wasn’t going to say yes.
And who can blame Ashton – the best finisher in England had just won the Premiership and European Cup.
Ashton was world-class – not second class.
Intriguingly as all this went on, Ashton’s best-mate and former Northampton Saints teammate Dylan Hartley was experiencing a character revival and was picked as England captain.
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Pictures of the pair and Mike Tindall on their infamous booze night out at the 20111 World Cup went around the globe.
The Altitude bar in Queesntown, where the Lions will head this summer, also had a dwarf-throwing night on.
Tindall insists that none of the tearaway trio tossed a tiny man – history one day might be kinder to them.
At the same tournament Ashton, Hartley and James Haskell were also accused of alleged verbal sexual harassment towards a Dunedin hotel employee.
Add this year’s biting incident and it’s 13-week ban and you can easily paint Ashton as a monster.
Speak to anyone that knows or plays with him and you won’t hear a bad word spoken about him.
Rival fans love to hate him – but it’s only been a love story at Sarries after England fans were deprived of more Swan dives from flash Ash.
Rugby’s Mr Marmite isn’t everyone’s flavour – but you’ll miss him when he’s gone.