Ashton withdraws from England World Cup training squad

Experienced England winger Chris Ashton made just two appearances in this year's Six Nations, including at start against France. Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chris Ashton has withdrawn from England's 29-man World Cup training squad for family reasons, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Sunday.

The Sale Sharks winger was named in head coach Eddie Jones' training squad ahead of the World Cup in Japan this year, but has now put an end to his chances of appearing at the tournament.

The former Toulon player, who scored 20 tries in 44 England caps, said he could not be away from his wife Melissa who is pregnant with their second child.

"When I returned from Toulon last season it was for two reasons; firstly for my family and secondly to try and realise the dream of playing for England again," Ashton said in an RFU statement.

"Pulling on the white shirt is always special, I'm grateful to Eddie for giving me the opportunity to have done so again.

"My wife, Melissa, is pregnant with our second child and I don't feel it's right for me to commit to being away in camp at this stage."

Ashton will not be replaced in the training squad, who are set to assemble at Pennyhill Park, Surrey on Sunday.

England's second training camp will be held at the Lensbury, London between June 30-July 4.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.