Ashton joins Sale after Toulon release

Chris Ashton has completed a move to Sale Sharks, his return to the Premiership giving him the opportunity to get back into the England fold.

The former England star was released by Toulon in the Top 14 due to "important" familial reasons on Tuesday, having broken the league's try-scoring record in 2017-18 (24).

Toulon had previously denied reports that Ashton was unhappy in France, but the ex-Northampton Saints and Saracens man is delighted to be back in England, having signed for Sale.

"This really feels like going home," he said. "I've always thought, in the back of my mind, that I'd return to the north [of England] 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 [when they won the Premiership]."

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