Rugby Union: Ashton says Toulon move dampens 'burning desire' to play for England

Saracens wing Chris Ashton will make history if he scores a try in Saturday's European Champions Cup showdown at Murrayfield.

Saracens wing Chris Ashton claims a move Toulon will go some way to extinguishing his "burning desire" to play for England.

The rugby league convert is to leave European and Premiership champions Sarries for a spell in the Top 14 at the end of the season.

Ashton's decision to move to France will prevent him from forcing his way back into the England squad due to the Rugby Football Union's policy of making overseas-based players ineligible for selection.

The 30-year-old flyer revealed he still craves a return to the international stage almost three years after winning the last of his 39 caps, but expects a switch to the three-time European champions to put a stop to that.

"I enjoy it here [at Saracens], but I always want to play for England and by going to France it took that out of the picture," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It is hard to watch England, although now I have made my decision it is a lot easier.

"The burning desire is always there and always will be, it just changes its path slightly and going to France takes that away."

Ashton has been given lengthy bans after being found guilty of eye-gouging and biting in the last two years, punishments which he has mixed feelings over.

"I can't feel hard done by, well obviously I can, but I think that was the easy option," he said.

"I have put myself in those situations. It can look the way it looks because I have put myself in that place so there is definitely a responsibility on my side.

"Whether I agree with someone telling me I have done something or not is completely different."

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