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Chris Ashton banned and warned about tackling technique

CHRIS Ashton was last night suspended from England's opening autumn international against Fiji and warned to work on his tackling technique.

Ashton was banned by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel after he was cited for a dangerous tackle on Northampton wing Vasily Artemyev.

The citing counted on Ashton's record as a yellow card, taking his tally for the season to three - with all of them being for dangerous play.

Ashton was previously shown yellow cards for dangerous charging in Saracens' matches against London Irish on September 1 and Exeter Chiefs on September 23.

Disciplinary panel chairman Judge Jeff Blackett said: “We are concerned about his tackling technique and encouraged that he and his coaches work to correct it.”

Ashton's one-week suspension runs from November 4 specifically to include the Fiji game because he was not released by England to play in the Aviva Premiership this weekend.

The Saracens wing will be available for England's autumn Tests against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but he joins a lengthening list of absentees from the Fiji game.

Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes have both been ruled out of the match on November 10 with knee injuries while Jonathan Joseph is rated as doubtful after damaging his ankle at the weekend.

Ashton's suspension opens the way for Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples to be England's likely starting wings against Fiji.

Monye is chomping at the bit for a return to Test rugby over two years after his last England appearance, which ended with him being carried from Murrayfield on a stretcher.

“I'm probably more excited now than I was when I won my first cap,” Monye said.

“Once England is taken away from you, I think you appreciate it even more. If the opportunity comes I'll be buzzing.

“I have given everything and sacrificed a lot to be in this position and I am desperate to play for England.

“I am playing with confidence now, scoring tries and Quins are flying high at the top of the Premiership. I have got a hunger.

“This is the time when I feel I have deserved England selection the most - even more then when I got my first cap.”