Harlequins secure Chris Ashton signing

Chris Ashton has scored 86 Premiership tries
Chris Ashton has scored 86 Premiership tries
©Steve Haag

England international Chris Ashton will make his debut for Harlequins after he was signed by the Gallagher Premiership club with immediate effect.

Ashton recently made an exit from Sale Sharks after joining the AJ Bell Stadium in July 2018 with the club's director of rugby Steve Diamond citing 'disagreement on how we want to play the game' as the reason behind the early release from the contract.

The 32-year-old had represented Northampton Saints and Saracens in the past and is the third highest try-scorer in the Premiership with 86 touchdowns from 145 games across three clubs. He also had a stint with Toulon in 2017 and 2018 following his exit from Saracens but returned back to play for Sale Sharks in a bid to revive his England career after featuring in 44 Tests between 2010 and 2019.

He will now link up with his former England team-mates Danny Care, Mike Brown and Joe Marler at Twickenham Stoop.

“I can’t wait to get started at Quins. It is a Club filled with incredibly experienced and talented players," he told the official website of the club.

"When I spoke to Gussy 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.”

Harlequins director of rugby Paul Gustard expressed delight in securing the services of Ashton.

“We are delighted that ‘Ashy’ has decided to commit his future to Harlequins. I have known Chris for around eight years now and he is without doubt one of the most competitive, professional and dedicated athletes I have encountered.

"His drive to succeed and win is exceptional, allied to his desire to improve and be the best version of himself he can be has always been clear.

“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.

"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".

Harlequins are at seventh place in the ongoing Gallagher Premiership with five wins from 12 games and will take on Bristol Bears in the 13th round at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

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