Saracens won't appeal Ashton biting ban

Chris Ashton (Gallo Images)
Chris Ashton (Gallo Images)

London - Saracens will not appeal the 13-week ban handed out to wing Chris Ashton for biting, the English and European champions said on Friday, but they will continue to back him.

Ashton was punished for biting Northampton's Alex Waller during a Premiership match last weekend.

A three-member disciplinary panel found on Tuesday that Ashton bit Waller on the arm in the 24th minute of Saracens' 27-12 win, but cleared him of a charge that he bit him again one minute later.

The punishment keeps Ashton out of action until December 19 and means he will be ruled out of the November internationals, delaying his prospects of a return to England duty.

Saracens had the option to appeal against the suspension - just Ashton's latest - but the London club's director of rugby, Mark McCall, said: "The club has been fully supportive of Chris throughout this process and we are naturally disappointed to lose a player of his calibre for 13 weeks.

"We put forward what we thought was a strong case for both charges to be dismissed but the decision to suspend Chris is one that we accept. No appeal will be lodged.

"We will continue to support Chris during his enforced time away from playing and help prepare him for his return to action in December."

The 29-year-old received a 10-week ban last season for making contact with the eye area of Ulster back Luke Marshall in a European Champions Cup game, ruling him out of this year's Six Nations.

Ashton, known for his "Ash Splash" try celebration, has 39 England caps but he hasn't played for his country since facing New Zealand in 2014.

Six Nations champions England will play South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia in their upcoming Tests in November and early December.

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