Chris Ashton: Saracens will not appeal against winger's 13-week ban

Alex Waller and Chris Ashton
Chris Ashton (right) will be free to play again on 19 December

Saracens will not appeal against the 13-week ban handed to winger Chris Ashton for biting the arm of Northampton prop Alex Waller.

England international Ashton, 29, was found guilty of one count of biting during the 27-12 Premiership win over Saints on Saturday, with one dismissed.

"We put forward what we thought was a strong case for both charges to be dismissed," said boss Mark McCall.

"But the decision to suspend Chris is one that we accept."

Ashton, who cannot play again until 19 December, attended a six-hour hearing in front of a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Tuesday.

The RFU said the former rugby league player's description of events were "less plausible" than Waller's "consistent and compelling" evidence.

Ashton, who has won 39 caps, was suspended for the minimum of 12 weeks, with a further week added because of his previous bans.

He was handed a 10-week suspension last season for an eye-gouging incident in a European Champions Cup game, following a four-week ban for hair-pulling in 2011.

The gouging ban ruled him out of the Six Nations, and Ashton has not featured for the national side since Eddie Jones became head coach in November 2015.

"The club has been fully supportive of Chris throughout this process and we are naturally disappointed to lose a player of his calibre for 13 weeks," Sarries director of rugby McCall added in a statement on the club website.

"We will continue to support Chris during his enforced time away from playing, and help prepare him for his return to action in December."

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