Saracens and England wing Ashton attacked with glass at London nightclub
13:04 GMT, 16 September 2012
Saracens have praised wing Chris Ashton for showing 'admirable restraint' after he was attacked with a glass at a London nightclub on Saturday night.
Ashton was out celebrating an anniversary with his girlfriend and team-mates following Saracens' 9-9 draw with Leicester at Wembley when the incident occurred.
The England international tweeted on
Sunday: 'So, some bloke decided to spoil an evening out for me and my
misses. No stitches needed…back to work tomorrow.'
Attacked: Ashton (centre)
Saracens – who Ashton joined in the summer from Northampton – have moved swiftly to clear the 25-year-old of any wrongdoing.
'To prevent confusion, the club would like to clarify events surrounding an incident which took place in London on Saturday,' a statement on the club's official website read.
'Several Saracens players, together with their wives and girlfriends, were enjoying a quiet evening when an uninvited stranger approached the group.
'A brief altercation occurred, which resulted in a friend of this stranger attacking Chris Ashton with a glass. The Saracens winger suffered two minor cuts on the left side of his face, but neither required stitches.'
Chief executive Edwards Griffiths added: 'Since arriving at the club, Chris has proved himself an outstanding member of the Saracens family, on and off the field.
Fresh start: Ashton joined Saracens from Northampton this summer
'It is a reality that well known sports people are provoked by strangers and subsequent events are instantly tweeted. People will inevitably see this story and say an England rugby player is in trouble again.
'For clarity, Chris Ashton is not in trouble at all. On the contrary, he was celebrating an anniversary with his girlfriend and showed admirable restraint.'
Ashton moved to London in the summer for a 'fresh start' after his career had begun to be dogged by off-field controversies.
A fall-out with Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder last season followed condemnation of his 'Ash Splash' try celebration his England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Ashton, who has scored three tries in three games for Sarries, was involved in the 'dwarfgate' scandal that marred England's World Cup campaign in New Zealand last year.