• Ashton cops big ban

    Sale fullback Chris Ashton has been given a seven-week suspension for a tip tackle on Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott last week.

    The tackle, made during a pre-season game, contravened law 9.18 and while Ashton didn’t accept the charge, he was found guilty by an independent panel.

    The 31-year-old will miss the first six rounds of the upcoming Premiership season.

    Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images