Farrell behind Chris Ashton’s move to Saracens

England winger Chris Ashton has revealed that the chance of playing under former Rugby League star Andy Farrell was a major reason he will leave Northampton Saints and join Saracens.

Ashton and Farrell are both former Rugby League players but Farrell made his name in Ashton’s home town club of Wigan.

Farrell moved to Rugby Union over five years ago after he retired from playing he moved into coaching and is now head coach at Saracens under Mark McCall.

Farrell assisted England coach Stuart Lancaster during the Six Nations but has turned down the opportunity to join the England set up on a permanent basis.

Ashton has now admitted that the chance to work with Farrell again outweighed any financial gain from the move and said that presence of former Wigan centre Joel Tomkins in the Saracens squad was another boost.

“I’m pretty happy with Andy’s decision – he’s the main reason I went there,” Ashton told The Rugby Paper.

“It wasn’t so much the offer because your market value is relatively the same, it was more about taking the next step in my life.

“From being where I was at Wigan to getting the chance to go and play under Andy is a big thing for me and with Joel Tomkins there as well him staying is a massive plus and I’m very grateful for that.

“Seeing the effect Andy had on England during the Six Nations, anyone who was in that squad can see the positives he brought. “

“It’s unfortunate for England he decided not to stay, but it’s a big positive for Saracens.

“He’s got a lot of strengths but he’s an exceptionally good motivator.”

“He knows how to say the right thing at the right time to get lads in the right place and he works real hard and puts a lot of time into his job to help you improve as a player.”

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