England's Chris Ashton faces possible suspension after pre-season brawl

Chris Ashton in action at England's training camp in Teddington, Aug. 5. David Rogers/Getty Images

England and Sale Sharks wing Chris Ashton could face further disciplinary action after he was sent off in a pre-season friendly.

Ashton was seen punching Castres' Rory Kockott as the pair were both dismissed by referee Romaine Poite during Friday's warm-up game in Southern France. However, the RFU confirmed in a statement that the red card was for a tip tackle that preceded the brawl.

The 31-year-old will now appear before a RFU disciplinary panel on Thursday Aug. 23. Normal RFU procedures apply despite the nature of the match, meaning the dangerous tackle could earn Ashton a six-week ban.

Ashton was called up by Eddie Jones for an England training camp this month after four years of exile from international rugby.

He has 19 tries from his 39 England caps but saw his last Test call-up in 2016 cut short after he was banned for 23 weeks for biting and gouging.

This latest controversy comes just days after fellow England international Danny Cipriani pleaded guilty to common assault and resisting arrest after an incident at a nightclub in Jersey.

He was subsequently charged by the RFU with 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game'.

Both players may now be at significant risk of losing their places in Eddie Jones' wider squad, with a second England training camp likely to be held in Bristol at the end of the month.

Sale's Gallagher Premiership campaign begins on September 1 at the Twickenham Stoop against Harlequins.