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Ashton included in England training squad

Ashton has been included in Jones' latest squad. Credit: PA

Chris Ashton has been included in England's pre-season training squad after returning to the Gallagher Premiership in order to revive his international career.

Ashton has not added to his 39 caps since Eddie Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster, partly due to a succession of bans, but having swapped Toulon for Sale this summer he is back in contention.

"Chris is an exceptional player, I think we have seen that from his form at Saracens. And then at Toulon he has played exceedingly well," Ashton said.

"He's come back to England because he wants to play for England so he has got the right desire and the right attitude. It will be good to work with him."

England and Leicester prop Genge undergoes knee surgery

Genge was injured on England's tour of South Africa last month. Credit: PA

England and Leicester prop Ellis Genge is set to be sidelined until the new year after undergoing knee surgery.

Genge, 23, was injured on England's tour of South Africa last month and returned home early from that three-Test trip.

Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor told the club's official website: "We're probably looking at him playing again in the new year at this stage."

Genge, who has won five caps, was the latest player to be injured during England training last season.

O'Connor said: "'Gengey' has had the operation and everything went well from that point of view. He's well into his rehab work now, and then he will start fitness work and building up to play again.

"But he will miss the first phase of the season, and we're probably looking at him playing again in the new year at this stage. But he's working hard on his recovery and will be good to go when he comes through that rehab.

"It is obviously very disappointing for him and for us, but I'm sure he will be raring to go once he gets back to full fitness, and we know there's still a lot to come from him."

Leicester kick off their Gallagher Premiership season against Exeter on September 1.

England, meanwhile, face Tests against world champions New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Japan in November.


Gustard quits England for Harlequins role

Gustard will take up his new post after England's tour of South Africa. Credit: PA

Harlequins have confirmed the appointment of England defence coach Paul Gustard as their new head of rugby.

Gustard, 42, will take up his new post with the Aviva Premiership club after England's tour to South Africa next month.

He replaces John Kingston, who revealed in April that he would be leaving Quins at the end of the season.

"Harlequins is delighted to announce that England defence coach Paul Gustard will join the London club as head of rugby, following the conclusion of England's summer tour to South Africa," Harlequins said in a statement.

Former Leicester, London Irish and Saracens flanker Gustard has worked alongside England head coach Eddie Jones since January 2016 and is under contract with the Rugby Football Union until after the 2019 World Cup.

"Opportunities like this don't come along very often," Gustard said. "To be given the chance to lead a club as rich in talent, heritage and support as Harlequins is hugely exciting.

"My relationship with Eddie is strong and positive. He has supported me in accepting this new role and I will continue to have a strong relationship with him on our tour to South Africa and beyond."

Gustard helped England to a first series win in Australia, plus back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2016 and 2017, but Jones' side had to settle for fifth this year.

Harlequins finished 10th in the Premiership after winning only seven of their 22 matches.


Jones makes sweeping changes for England against Ireland

England have dropped George Ford and moved Owen Farrell to fly-half for their NatWest 6 Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham.

Dylan Hartley has recovered from a tight calf to lead the team in Saturday's final round of the Championship, but his front row colleague Dan Cole has been replaced by Kyle Sinckler.

Eddie Jones has performed significant surgery on the team that lost 22-16 to France, with Danny Care and Joe Launchbury making way for Richard Wigglesworth and George Kruis.

Anthony Watson retains his place at full-back with Mike Brown confined to the bench for another week.

There is a new-look midfield partnership of Ben Te'o and Jonathan Joseph, who returns at outside centre, and Elliot Daly has recovered from his foot problem to start on the left wing.

Injuries to Nathan Hughes and Courtney Lawes see Sam Simmonds and James Haskell start at number eight and openside flanker.

For more on this story head to our dedicated 6 Nations website.

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