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.
The incident, which took place 46 minutes into Sale’s 20-17 win, could feature in the referee’s match report — expected to be delivered to the RFU on Monday — and Ashton could then be summoned to a disciplinary hearing.
Normal Rugby Football Union procedures apply despite the nature of the match, meaning Ashton could face further punishment for his part in the altercation.
Ashton, 31, 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.