Leicester to challenge Ashton red card ahead of Sale semi-final

·2-min read
Red card trouble - Leicester's Chris Ashton in action for England
Red card trouble - Leicester's Chris Ashton in action for England

Leicester are prepared to launch an appeal against Chris Ashton's red card that could rule him out of the champions' English Premiership semi-final against Sale this weekend.

The 36-year-old former England wing was sent off for a high tackle on Harlequins' Cadan Murley during Leicester's 20-17 defeat last Saturday.

Ashton, the Premiership's record try-scorer, will retire at the end of the season but his career could now be at an end if his suspension is upheld.

Any ban would likely rule Ashton out of both the last-four clash and the Premiership final on May 27.

"When we get the date of the hearing, which I would have thought would be Wednesday, we will contest it," Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth said Tuesday.

"It will be this week and if we get it turned around he will be available (for the play-off).

"The slipping and the dipping, there were mitigating factors in the tackle and the mitigating factors are why we think it is a yellow (card) and not a red."

Wigglesworth added: "I am not calling anything dodgy. I know they (referees) have got a difficult job. We just want everything to be clear and obvious."

As for Ashton's fitness to face Sale on Sunday should his suspension be overturned, Wigglesworth said: "Chris will know his stuff and be good to go.

"He is experienced and he will still have a training day knowing he is in the starting team, if that happens, so that wouldn't be a problem for us."

Premiership champions Leicester face a Sale side that finished one place and 10 points above them during the 20-game regular season.

Saracens take on Northampton in the other play-off, opening up the possibility of a repeat of last year's final between Leicester and Saracens.