Chris Ashton may be about to be suspended, again, after getting sent off in Sale's pre-season friendly with Castres on Friday.
Despite Sale's impressive win, the match was marred by six cards in total, with both Ashton and Castres' scrum half Rory Kockett red carded for their part in one particular dust-up just after half-time. An RFU statement explained the incident explained:
Ashton was shown a red card by referee Roman Poite in the 46th minute of the pre-season fixture between Castres Olympique and Sale Sharks on Friday 17 August 2018. This was for a tip tackle on Rory Kockott contrary to law 9.18 (A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact with the ground).
As well as dishing out three yellow cards, referee, Romain Poite, also sent Sale's Alexandru Taurus off for a dangerous clearout.
For Ashton he must now wait on the referee's report to see if further action will be taken by the RFU. The disciplinary procedure is the same for a friendly as it is for the competitive game, so if he is banned Ashton will miss the start of the Premiership season. The winger has only just returned to England after a season with Toulon in the Top 14.