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Saracens winger Chris Ashton was attacked with a glass on a night out with his girlfriend in London
Saracens winger Chris Ashton spent the evening in hospital after he was attacked with a glass in a London nightclub on Saturday night.
Ashton was out celebrating his fifth anniversary with his girlfriend, together with other players and their partners, when he became involved in an altercation with a stranger.
The 25-year-old, who joined Saracens from Northampton in the summer, is believed to have pushed the first assailant away before another person struck him round the face with a glass.
Ashton went to hospital for treatment but did not need any stitches.
Both the player and the club were quick to downplay Ashton's role in the incident.
Ashton wrote on Twitter: "Some bloke decided to spoil an evening out for me and my missus. No stitches needed."
A Saracens statement read: "To prevent confusion, the club would like to clarify events surrounding an incident which took place in London on Saturday.
"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."
The club's concern for how the story would break is likely due to Ashton's involvement in several unsavoury incidents in recent months.
In March Ashton reportedly stormed out of Northampton's training ground after a bust-up with director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
In December last year, the England winger received a four-week ban for dragging Leicester's Alesana Tuilagi off the pitch by his hair.
And almost a year ago to the day, Ashton was involved in the infamous dwarf-throwing night out while playing for England at last summer's World Cup.
Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths was adamant though that on this occasion Ashton was not to blame.
He said: "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.”