Harlequins have signed Chris Ashton two days after his departure from Premiership rivals Sale Sharks.
The prolific winger, who has scored 20 tries in 44 Tests for England, left Sale on Monday due to what director of rugby Steve Diamond described as “a difference of opinion” with him and his coaching staff.
Ashton has not had long to wait for a new club, with Quins confirming his arrival at The Stoop on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old, who is the Premiership’s third-highest try-scorer with 86, links up with former England team-mates Danny Care, Joe Marler and Mike Brown.
Making a splash.
— Harlequins (@Harlequins) March 4, 2020
“I can’t wait to get started at Quins. It is a club filled with incredibly experienced and talented players,” Ashton said.
“When I spoke to Gussy [Quins head of rugby Paul Gustard] and heard more about the direction the club is going in, and what it means to be a Harlequin, I knew that this was the right move for me.
“I know lots of the lads at Quins, like Danny, through our England careers and years of friendship. I like the look of what Quins are doing, they are growing a strong squad and the foundations for future success are in place.
“I know that I have still got a lot to give on the pitch and I am confident that being at Quins will enable me to continue scoring tries and help me with my aspirations of reaching 100 Premiership tries, beating the current record [Tom Varndell’s tally of 92].”
Gustard revealed the London club wanted to sign former Saracens flyer Ashton before he agreed to join Sale from Toulon.
“We were very interested in Chris when he was looking to move back to the UK, but unfortunately we were not in a position to compete 28 months ago,” he said.
“However, circumstances change and timings can sometimes work in mysterious ways, meaning we were able to get our man. We have four of our senior back three players currently unavailable with injury and therefore to bring Chris to the club is a big boost to the squad.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta