Chris Ashton has revealed the main reason why he decided to quit English Rugby. The Saracens wing attributed his decision to the constant snubbing by his country.
Since 2013, Ashton has not been a regular for his country on the international scene. On the club scene however, this summer would see the 29-year old join Toulon. With this move, he becomes ineligible to participate in the internationals. Still, he has a chance of making the Lions squad.
Last Saturday saw him move to within two of the try-scoring record of the European Cup after Saracens came off with a winner against Toulon.
With this, Ashton is now miles ahead of the closest English player in line as he has 34 to his name now.
Also, in a total of 39 tests, Ashton has scored 19 tries. Despite all these, he has been unable to secure a regular place on the team.
Ashton, who spoke after their 10-3 humbling of Toulon, made it known that he was sick of having to leave his international career in the hands of others.
“I was sick of leaving my international career in other people’s hands. The decision is always made by a coach and, like any player who does not get in, I disagreed with that decision.
“I took it into my own hands. Not to end my international career – because I hope I will play again one day — but for the time being I chose to go to play rugby abroad,” he said.
The British and Irish Lions summer tour to New Zealand could see Ashton being given a space on the team. The way he scored at Allianz Park surely impressed Warren Gatland.
Ashton says he remains very happy with his choice since it was his and not that of anyone else.