Aug 23 (Reuters) - England winger Chris Ashton has been banned for seven weeks after he was sent off for a tip tackle playing for Sale Sharks in a pre-season game against Castres, the Rugby Football Union said on Thursday.
Ashton did not accept the charge but was found guilty by an independent panel.
“The absence of injury and that the action was as a result of a level of provocation, meant that the panel found this was a low-end entry point,” panel chair Richard Whittam QC said in a statement.
Ashton was banned for an extra week on top of the normal six-week penalty due to his poor disciplinary record. He served a 13-week ban for biting and a 10-week one for eye-gouging during his spell as a Saracens player.
Ashton, who joined Sale from Toulon this year, will miss the first six rounds of the Premiership season.
The 31-year-old was recalled to the England squad this month for the first time since 2016. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)