Chris Ashton has received a seven-week suspension for his tip-tackle on Rory Kockott during Sale's pre-season friendly win at Castres last Friday.

Ashton did not accept the charge but an independent disciplinary hearing found him guilty and issued a sanction that mean will miss England's next training camp in Bristol and the first six games of the Sharks' Gallagher Premiership season.

"It is an important principle of rugby regulation to prevent injury to others," panel chair Richard Whittam said.

"Provocation is not a defence to foul play and lifting a player and dropping that player such that his head makes contact with the ground has the potential to cause serious injury."