Chris Ashton: Sale Sharks agree termination of ex-England wing's contract

Chris Ashton dots down for Sale
Ashton scored four tries in seven Premiership appearances for Sale this season

Former England winger Chris Ashton has left Sale after reaching an agreement to terminate his contract early.

The ex-Saracens and Northampton player, 32, joined Sale from French Top 14 side Toulon in July 2018.

Ashton scored 20 tries in 44 England Tests, winning his last international cap in February last year.

In January, he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly Podcast he is aiming for a record 100 Premiership tries before his club career is over.

His most recent, in a victory at Exeter on 25 January, took his Premiership tally to 86 - six behind all-time Premiership top try-scorer Tom Varndell.

Ashton was not in the Sale squad that won at Gloucester on Friday, keeping them second in the table.

All-time Premiership top try-scorers
Tom VarndellLeicester, Wasps, Bristol92
Mark CuetoSale90
Chris AshtonNorthampton, Saracens, Sale86
Christian WadeWasps82
Steve HanleySale75

"The club and Chris have reached a mutual agreement regarding the termination of his Sale Sharks contract and he will leave the club immediately," said Sale.external-link

Last month Sale centre Cameron Redpath joined Bath for a six-figure sum and their former England hooker Rob Webber confirmed he will retire from professional rugby union at the end of the season.

Ashton was hot property on his arrival at Sale, having just broken the Top 14 try-scoring record with Toulon - scoring 24 tries in 23 appearances.

He has scored four tries in seven Premiership games this term and his departure opens the door to a potential mid-season move.

Earlier this year, Ashton, a Rugby Union Weekly podcast presenter, was named in a leaked report into relegated Saracens' salary cap breaches, having invested in a property with club's former chairman Nigel Wray.

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