England will head into the Six Nations without Chris Ashton after everyone's favourite good guy was found to have made contact with the eye of Ulster centre Luke Marshall during Saracens' 33-17 win over Les Kiss' side last Saturday.
Ashton was cited for 'making contact with the the eye(s) and/or eye area' of Marshall and that has been upheld today with confirmation coming from the hearing in London that Ashton would be banned for 10 games.
Here's the incident in question.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 20, 2016
At the hearing, Ashton was initially handed a 12 match ban with one week added as a deterrent and three weeks taken away as a result of 'Ashton’s good character and good conduct at the hearing'.
Ashton returned to the England squad for the Six Nations and it had been thought that Eddie Jones would be looking to the Saracens man to start the first match of the campaign against Scotland on February 6th. That won't happen now with Ashton's England career on disciplinary related hiatus once again. Although, having said that, Ashton has the right to appeal against the decision.
It's fair to say that not everyone in the England rugby fraternity is happy about it.
— Jason Robinson OBE (@Jason15Robinson) January 20, 2016