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Chris Ashton trained with England in August when the squad had a get-together

Chris Ashton’s hopes of a return to the England squad have suffered a blow after it was confirmed his seven-week ban will now run until 15 October.

The 31-year-old was found guilty of an illegal tip-tackle in Sale’s pre-season game against Castres on 17 August.

The ban originally covered the final pre-season game against Sale FC and the first six rounds of the Premiership.

Because that was called off, Ashton will not play until after England’s autumn international squad is named.

He will also miss Sale’s first European Challenge Cup match against Perpignan, having got an extra week on top of the usual six-week penalty for his “poor disciplinary record”.

His previous suspensions include a 13-week ban for biting and a 10-week suspension for eye gouging, both of which occurred while playing his club rugby for Saracens.

Ashton, who has 39 caps for England, spent last season at French side Toulon after five years at Saracens, with whom he won the Premiership and Champions Cup.

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