Chris Ashton of Saracens looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Winger Chris Ashton’s England career is hanging by a thread after he was handed a 13 week ban on Tuesday for biting an opponent.

The 29-year-old Saracens back, who has played 39 Tests, was found guilty of biting Northampton prop Alex Waller in one of two incidents within the space of a minute during a Premiership match on Saturday. The second charge was dismissed.

“Having considered detailed evidence the panel concluded that during the course of a ruck Chris Ashton bit the arm of Alex Waller at a time that Mr Waller was attempting to clear him out,” disciplinary panel chairman Philip Evans said in a statement.

He is free to play again from December 19, the panel said.