Chris Ashton Leaves Toulon Early & Signs For Premiership Club

Done deal.

England international Chris Ashton has been granted an early release from his contract with Top 14 giants Toulon and signed a deal with Premiership side Sale Sharks ahead of next season.

After playing last season in France with Toulon, adding another 115 points to his personal tally, Chris is back in his native country. He has 19 tries to his name from his 39 England caps.

He recently notched a hat-trick for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham, including his trademark ‘Splash’ dive when grounding the ball.

Chris said:

“This really feels like ‘going home’. I’ve always thought, in the back of my mind, that I’d return to the North to play rugby and I’m delighted to be joining Sale Sharks.

“They have developed an increasingly strong squad, including Jono Ross, whom I remember in his younger days at Saracens. He left and has become a considerably more mature player!

“In Toulon, I’ve added to the experience I gained at Saracens. There are many players at Sale Sharks with whom I’m looking forward to playing.

“I’m not coming to rest on my laurels: I feel I’ve got a lot of rugby left in me and would like to make an impact and help to take the club to their winning ways of 2006.”

Sale Sharks’ Director of Rugby Steve Diamond added:

“Chris is obviously a World class signing. When we were looking around, following the announcement of the return of Rohan Janse van Rensburg, we wanted to keep the make-up of our Back Three as exciting as we can.

“Chris wanted to return to this country to fulfill his potential with England again, and we thought that he’d fit in well here.

“He’s a multi-talented, superb professional who has experienced the benefit of the successful culture at Saracens.

“We look forward to giving him a warm welcome in a fortnight’s time. He’ll join the exciting players already at the club and if we secure another two or three of our forward targets, we’ll have a squad capable of reaching a top four placing.

“We’ll continue to offer our supporters top-level entertainment at the A.J.Bell Stadium.”