Chris Ashton: Sale Sharks winger could face ban after red card

England and Sale winger Chris Ashton is facing a ban after punching Castres’ Rory Kockott in a pre-season friendly.

Ashton, 31, was sent off along with Kockott by referee Romaine Poite after the incident early in the second half of Sale’s 20-17 win on Friday.

The referee is set to deliver his report to the RFU on Monday.

Ashton could miss the first three games of the new Premiership campaign, as suspensions for punches to the head usually start at four weeks.

The red card came in only his second game for the Sharks, having joined from Toulon in the summer.

Sale begin their league season on 1 September against Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop, followed by fixtures against Worcester and Exeter.

Ashton was named in England’s training squad earlier this month after a four year absence from international rugby.

In 2016 he was banned for 13 weeks after being found guilty of biting Northampton prop Alex Waller.

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