Ashton "wrong" over Mallinder bust-up

by Setanta Staff , 06 March 2012

England winger Chris Ashton admits he was wrong to confront Northampton boss Jim Mallinder after being dropped back in January.

The 24-year-old was axed from the Saints final Heineken Cup group stage encounter with Munster after making it clear that he would leave the club at the end of the season to join Saracens.

The former rugby league flyer was incensed and immediately sought out Mallinder to ask for an explanation as to why he had been dropped.

The exchange between the pair was reportedly heated to say the least and Ashton has not featured form the east Midlands club since, after Mallinder made it clear exactly what he felt about the former Wigan Warrior star's attitude.

Relations between the two men are still frosty and Ashton has now admitted that his behaviour was out of order.

"I shouldn't have spoken to Jim the way I did," he told the Daily Mirror. "It's not my position to do that. It was his choice, his decision.

"Did I go too far? Maybe in the way I reacted I did. I should have left it a bit to cool down and to understand what his reasons were.

"At the time you don't see that."

The Wigan-born star is hoping for a reconciliation with his coach as he does not want the issue to taint his memories of his five-year stint at Franklin's Gardens.

"I don't know if I'll play again for Northampton," he added. "It's up to Jim as to whether he picks me again.

"Whatever Jim says goes, but I hope he does because I don't want my Northampton career to end on that sour note."

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