Chris Ashton handed a 13-week ban

Chris Ashton appeared before a RFU disciplinary panel on Tuesday.
Chris Ashton appeared before a RFU disciplinary panel on Tuesday.

Saracens have been dealt a major blow in their Aviva Premiership campaign as England international Chris Ashton has been banned for 13 weeks following the two biting incidents with Northampton Saints prop Alex Waller during the recent clash between the two sides last weekend.

The 29-year-old was earlier cited for two incidents where he was seen biting the hand of Waller during a tussle on the floor in the 24th and 25th minute of the game which Saracens went on to win 27-12 at Allianz Park. Even though the citing commissioner dismissed him of the charges on the second incident, the first was upheld.

The RFU disciplinary hearing was conducted in London on Tuesday evening and the panel found Ashton guilty of the charges.

The chairman of the panel, Philip Evans QC, said: "Having considered detailed evidence, the panel concluded that during the course of a ruck Chris Ashton bit the arm of Alex Waller at a time that Mr Waller was attempting to clear him out.

"The panel concluded it was a low-end entry point aggravated by his previous record."

This was not the first time Ashton has been found in the middle of a controversy as he was earlier banned for 10 weeks for making contact with the eye area of Ulster's Luke Marshall during the European Champions Cup game that kept him out of the Six Nations tournament for England. He also pulled out of the England Saxons' tour of South Africa in June after he was omitted from England's senior squad for the tour of Australia.