Winger Chris Ashton is returning to Twickenham to play for the Barbarians against England on Sunday
Chris Ashton Returns to Twickenham…For The Barbarians
He scored some spectacular tries during his time with England and now Toulon winger Chris Ashton will make a long awaited return to the Twickenham turf this Sunday. But instead of putting on a crisp, white England jersey, he instead will be representing the Barbarians.
Whilst playing for Saracens, Ashton fell out of favour with then England coach Stuart Lancaster and also failed to earn a call-up from current head coach Eddie Jones. As a result, Ashton has not represented England since a June 2014 clash against New Zealand.
Nothing is about to change either, as Ashton switched to French side Toulon in 2017, and the RFU simply refuse to select overseas players.
Regardless, Ashton’s presence at Twickenham will please many, despite playing for the opposition in a very strong Barbarians side.
There a plethora of quality Test players also signing up to play for the Baa-Baas. Although slated skipper Bundee Aki and Charles Piutau both had to pull out of the match with injury, Finn Russell, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Malakai Fekitoa, Justin Tipuric and Victor Vito are just some of the names set to excite.
Another noteworthy aspect of the match is the inclusion of Danny Cipriani in England’s squad.
The Wasps’ fly-half has not played for England since 2015, in a World Cup warm-up match against France. In that game he was used as a full-back and it appears as if Eddie Jones will use him the same way as he is listed as a full-back in the squad list below.
Having played the majority of his career at fly-half and having shown scintillating form this year in domestic rugby, this is an interesting decision on the part of Jones.
England will face the Barbarians at 3pm this Sunday.
Squads Listed below
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Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Jason Woodward (Gloucester Rugby), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Dan Robson (Wasps), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Josh McNally (London Irish), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Jono Ross (Sale Sharks), Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby) and Mark Wilson (Newcastle), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
Backs: Niyi Adeolokun (Connacht & Ireland), Chris Ashton (Toulon & England), Malakai Fekitoa (Toulon & New Zealand), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont & Scotland), Luke McAlister (Toulon & New Zealand), Josh Matavesi (Newcastle Falcons & Fiji), Semi Radradra (Toulon), Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors & Scotland), Josua Tuisova (Toulon & Fiji), Rhodri Williams (Bristol & Wales)
Forwards: John Afoa (Gloucester & New Zealand), Denis Buckley (Connacht), Ultan Dillane (Connacht & Ireland), Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon & Argentina), Ramiro Herrera (Stade Francais & Argentina), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont & France), Nili Latu (Newcastle Falcons & Tonga), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Leicester & Australia), Sateleki Timani (Clermont & Australia), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys & Wales), Loni Uhila (Clermont), Flip van der Merwe (Clermont & South Africa), Victor Vito (La Rochelle & New Zealand).
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