Chris Ashton says he is hoping to get a chance to impress for England in the first autumn international against South Africa.
Ashton is back in the England reckoning after making the switch from Toulon to Sale this summer and is pushing to start the clash against the Springboks at Twickenham on November 3.
The 31-year-old wing staked his claim for a place in Eddie Jones’ XV when scoring a hat-trick on his debut for Steve Diamond’s men in the 34-13 Challenge Cup victory over Connacht.
With just a week until the opening autumn international, Ashton has thanked the Red Rose boss for keeping faith in him after he was banned for seven weeks in August after being found guilty of a tip-tackle on Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott.
“At the start [Eddie Jones] just said keep trying and keep going and I’ll keep you involved, so it was nice to know that he’s still on my side with that because he could have easily gone the other way,” he told Sky Sports News. “So I was very thankful for that, he’s shown faith and I hope sometime I get to repay that.
“It’s every English boy’s dream to play for the country and I’ve had it and I’ve had it taken away, too. I’ll cherish it if it does happen and it’ll be one that is a memory, just being able to be out of it for so long and be able to get myself back.”