Ashton back in spotlight over biting claim


London—Saracens England discard Chris Ashton could be facing a second long spell on the sidelines for a disciplinary offence after it was claimed he bit Northampton’s Alex Waller in Saturday’s Premiership clash.
The 29-year-old wing—who was omitted from the England squad to tour Australia earlier this year and then snubbed the second string Saxons tour angering head coach Eddie Jones—is alleged to have bitten prop Waller’s hand when they were lying on the ground during the first-half.
“He (Waller) just repeated what he said to the referee (Greg Garner), in that he had been bitten on the hand,” said Northampton’s director of rugby Jim Mallinder after his side had lost 27-12.
His Saracens counterpart Mark McCall said he knew of the claim against Ashton, who burst onto the scene when he was at Northampton after making the switch from rugby league.
“I have heard the accusation,” said McCall.
“I haven’t seen the incident. These things will run its (their) course. I suppose there is a good chance that Chris will be cited as a result, so we will see what happens.”
Ashton received a 10-week ban last season for making contact with the eye area of Ulster back Luke Marshall during a European Champions Cup game, although he protested his innocence throughout.
If Ashton, scorer of 19 tries in his 39 international Tests, is cited for biting—and the charge is proved—he could be looking at another long lay-off.—AFP