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Chris Ashton asks to leave Toulon as former Northampton and Saracens man seeks England return


ASH BACK

Winger joined French side a year ago but could end England exile if given Aviva Premiership chance

Chris Ashton has asked to leave Toulon after just 12 months in France and could be set for a return to England.

The winger broke the Top14 try-scoring record with 24 in his debut season with the three-time European champions, but under RFU rules is ineligible for selection by his country while playing his domestic rugby abroad.

Ashton, 31, reminded England head coach Eddie Jones of his talents with a hat-trick for the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 27, as his side ran out 63-45 winners.

Toulon finished fourth in Top14 last season, enough to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs where despite an Ashton try they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Lyon after a 19-19 draw, by virtue of having scored fewer tries in the game.

The former Northampton and Saracens man was prolific for England, scoring 19 times in 39 tests, including a super try against Australia in 2010, but has not featured for his country since the 2014 New Zealand tour.