Sale Sharks sign Chris Ashton ahead of Gallagher Premiership Rugby season
Prolific try-scorer Chris Ashton is returning to his North-West roots after spells at Northampton, Saracens and Toulon.
Born in Wigan, Chris made 72 appearances for the Warriors in Super League, amassing 120 points, between 2005 and 2007. He also represented England RL four times, scoring three tries.
He moved to the 15-man code with Northampton Saints in 2007, initially spending a season in National One before sampling Premiership Rugby. His overall tally with the Saints saw him score 467 points in 110 games.
In 2012, he transferred to Saracens, with his 230 points from 105 games being a major contribution to the success of the North London club.
After playing last season in France with Toulon, adding another 115 points to his personal tally, Chris is back in his native country. He has 19 tries to his name from his 39 England caps.
He recently notched a hat-trick for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham, including his trademark ‘Splash’ dive when grounding the ball.
Chris said: “This really feels like ‘going home’. I’ve always thought, in the back of my mind, that I’d return to the North to play rugby and I’m delighted to be joining Sale Sharks.
“They have developed an increasingly strong squad, including Jono Ross, whom I remember in his younger days at Saracens. He left and has become a considerably more mature player!
“In Toulon, I’ve added to the experience I gained at Saracens. There are many players at Sale Sharks with whom I’m looking forward to playing.
“I’m not coming to rest on my laurels: I feel I’ve got a lot of rugby left in me and would like to make an impact and help to take the club to their winning ways of 2006.”
Sale Sharks’ Director of Rugby Steve Diamond added: “Chris is obviously a World class signing. When we were looking around, following the announcement of the return of Rohan Janse van Rensburg, we wanted to keep the make-up of our Back Three as exciting as we can.
“Chris wanted to return to this country to fulfil his potential with England again, and we thought that he’d fit in well here.
“He’s a multi-talented, superb professional who has experienced the benefit of the successful culture at Saracens.
“We look forward to giving him a warm welcome in a fortnight’s time. He’ll join the exciting players already at the club and if we secure another two or three of our forward targets, we’ll have a squad capable of reaching a top four placing.
“We’ll continue to offer our supporters top-level entertainment at the A.J.Bell Stadium.”