Harlequins sign ex-England winger Ashton

Rugby

Harlequins have signed former England winger Chris Ashton on a free on Wednesday following the player’s departure from Gallagher Premiership rivals Sale Sharks.

The 32-year-old winger mutually terminated his contract with Sale on Monday, ending his two-year spell at the club.

Ashton’s arrival at Twickenham Stoop survives his target of reaching 100 Premiership tries to set a new record. He is the league’s third-highest ever try-scorer with 86 after switching codes from rugby league to union in 2007.

“I can’t wait to get started at Quins,” Ashton said in a statement. “It is a club filled with incredibly experienced and talented players. When I spoke to Gussy and heard more about the direction the Club is going in, and what it means to be a Harlequin, I knew that this was the right move for me.

“I know that I have still got a lot to give on the pitch and I am confident that being at Quins will enable me to continue scoring tries and help me with my aspirations of reaching 100 Premiership tries, beating the current record.”

Ashton scored 20 tries in 44 England Tests, with his last international cap coming in a crushing 44-8 victory over France in last year’s Six Nations. He will join up with former international teammates Danny Care, Mike Brown and Joe Marler while at the club.

Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard said: “We are delighted that ‘Ashy’ has decided to commit his future to Harlequins. I have known Chris for around eight years now and he is without doubt one of the most competitive, professional and dedicated athletes I have encountered.

“His drive to succeed and win is exceptional, allied to his desire to improve and be the best version of himself he can be has always been clear.”

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