Chris Ashton withdraws from England squad

Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton has withdrawn from England’s training squad for family reasons.

The 32-year-old winger will not be replaced in the squad that assembled at Pennyhill Park Hotel on Sunday.

Ashton, who has been capped 44 times for England, said: “When I returned from Toulon last season it was for two reasons; firstly for my family and secondly to try and realise the dream of playing for England again.

“Pulling on the white shirt is always special and I’m grateful to Eddie for giving me the opportunity to have done so again.

“My wife, Melissa, is pregnant with our second child and I don’t feel it is right for me to commit to being away in camp at this stage.

“In the meantime I wish Owen (Farrell) and the boys all the very best with their preparation over the coming months.”