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Chris Ashton: Sale winger named in England squad for first time since 2016

Chris Ashton: Sale winger named in England squad for first time since 2016

Ashton scored a hat-trick for the Barbarians against England in MaySale winger Chris Ashton has been named in Eddie Jones' England squad for the first time since 2016.The 31-year-old, who returned to the Premiership from French Top 14 side Toulon this month, has not played for his country under Jones.He was part of the Australian's first England squad in 2016, before serving two bans for biting and gouging.
Regular captain Dylan Hartley is also in the pre-season training squad as he continues his comeback from concussion."Chris is an exceptional player," said Jones. "I think we have seen with his form at Saracens, then at Toulon he has played exceedingly well. "He's come back to England because he wants to play for England so he has got the right desire and the right attitude so it will be good to work with him."Ashton, who has scored 19 tries in 39 Tests for England, has not played for his country since 2014.But he has clearly impressed Jones in recent months, breaking the Top 14 try-scoring record last season in France, before scoring a hat-trick for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham in May.He secured an early release from his Toulon contract in a bid to resurrect his England career ahead of the 2019 World Cup, and has been rewarded with a place in Jones' squad.Hartley will also be part of the three-day training camp in Teddington, despite not having played since March, missing the end of the season and the June series defeat in South Africa.After suffering a single defeat throughout 2016 and 2017, England's form has dipped alarmingly in 2018, with just three victories in nine matches.But Jones and the RFU remain confident the side can arrest their slump before next year's global showpiece in Japan.England will play four Autumn internationals against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia later this year.Jones has also included three England youngsters who played in the recent World Under-20 Championship final - Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Joel Kpoku (Saracens) and Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers). Saracens' Michael Rhodes, who is South African-born, only qualified for England on residency grounds in July and also makes his first training squad.England still have an extensive injury list with 14 players named as unavailable for selection.There is no place for England's most-capped scrum-half Danny Care, who was rested during the summer tour, with Wasps-bound flanker Brad Shields and injured Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola also missing from the squad.
Full squad
Backs: Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Northampton Saints), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers), Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)Not considered for selection due to injury/fitness/other: Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins) Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
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