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Ashton named in England training squad

Chris Ashton has been named in a 44-man England training squad ahead of the new season after leaving Toulon in a bid to resume his international career.

The prolific wing has not played for his country since 2014, but put himself back in contention by joining Sale Sharks after an outstanding Top 14 season.

Ashton, who gave Eddie Jones another reminder of his ability by scoring a hat-trick for the Barbarians against England in May, has been called up for a three-day training camp which starts on Saturday.

Captain Dylan Hartley is also included, having missed the Test series defeat in South Africa due to concussion.

Young trio Gabriel Ibitoye, Joel Kpoku and Jordan Olowofela will get a chance to impress along with experienced South Africa-born Saracens back-row Michael Rhodes.

England head coach Jones said: “This is a pre-season camp so a lot of our players, particularly the ones who went on the South African tour, have just started training with their clubs so it’s just a chance to get a group of players together to have a chat about the season ahead and look at the important areas in developing the team.

“With just over 12 months until the Rugby World Cup, it is an important time. We haven’t selected everyone. There are a number of players we rested from the tour that we have allowed to continue their pre-season with their clubs.”


England squad:

Backs: Chris Ashton, Mike Brown, Danny Cipriani, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Nathan Earle, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Gabriel Ibitoye, Alex Lozowski, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Jordan Olowofela, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ben Spencer, Ben Te’o, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Jamie George. Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Alec Hepburn, Paul Hill, Nathan Hughes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joel Kpoku, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Michael Rhodes, Chris Robshaw, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Will Spencer, Elliott Stooke, Sam Underhill, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.
Not considered for selection due to injury/ fitness/ other: Jack Clifford, Dan Cole, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jonathan Joseph, George Kruis, Jack Nowell, Brad Shields, Denny Solomona, Manu Tuilagi, Billy Vunipola, Anthony Watson, Richard Wigglesworth. News wire is powered by opta

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