Chris Ashton thrilled to be selected in England training squad

Chris Ashton admits it was a “real surprise” to be called up for England’s pre-season training camp.

Ashton has not played international rugby since 2014 but he was named in a 44-man England squad earlier this week and trained in Teddington on Sunday.

The 31-year-old has scored 19 tries in 39 Tests and is now back in contention for more caps, having returned to English rugby with Sale after a season with Toulon.

He told Sky Sports: “I have had quite an eventful summer, coming back to Sale.

“I was just ready for that and have been in training for the past few weeks with Sale – I had no idea that I would get the opportunity to come in with England.

“It was a real surprise, to be honest.

“I thought that it was down to me and it still is but, to even get a look in at the camp, I am just really grateful for the opportunity to come in for the few days and be in such a good environment around good players.

“I am just glad to be back involved again.”

England’s next internationals are in November against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia – and they are all live on Sky Sports.