Chris Ashton broke the Top 14 try-scoring record with 24 tries in 23 appearances for Toulon

Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton says being unavailable for England selection while playing domestic rugby in France “ate away” at him.

The 31-year-old joined Sale from French Top 14 side Toulon on Tuesday, a year after his move from Saracens.

Ashton, who has scored 19 tries in 39 appearances for England, last played for his country in 2014.

“There’s a big responsibility on me, doing the right things playing for Sale and doing well here first,” he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Ashton continued: “Every England player thinks that by being in France you have to shut it away but it does eat away at you.

“I would like to be a part of it again and I would like to get another cap. I’ve never shied away from saying that.”

Ashton hopes to follow the example of fly-half Danny Cipriani, who played for Sale before joining Wasps in 2016 and recently won his first England cap for three years, by working his way back into the international fold.

“As we’ve seen with the Cipriani situation, the opportunities are there and if you play well enough, hopefully can get an opportunity,” he added.

“From the start, if [head coach] Eddie [Jones] doesn’t feel like someone’s doing a job or not performing as well, he will change it and bring people in.

“I have to do well here first and hopefully I can get a chance.”

Ashton shows off ‘swan’ dive v Australia

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