Ashton’s suspension upheld

Chris Ashton has been ruled out of England's Six Nations campaign after his appeal to have a 10-week ban overturned was rejected on Thursday.

The Saracens wing was suspended following a review of an incident in a European Champions Cup match against Ulster, during which he made contact with the eye area of centre Luke Marshall.

European Professional Club Rugby announced on Thursday that an independent committee decided not to allow Ashton's appeal and that the original decision was being upheld.

In a statement, the 29-year-old Ashton admitted that while he is disappointed with the decision, he plans put the episode behind him and work as hard as he can for the rest of the season.

'I vehemently maintain that I have never made an attempt to intentionally make contact with the eye area of any other player. To miss out on the chance to represent my country and Saracens during this period is extremely disappointing, but the judgement stands and it is one that I will respect and accept,' read the statement.

Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams