Premiership and Champions Cup holders Saracens have confirmed that wing Chris Ashton will join Toulon at the end of this season.
The 29-year-old England international will link up with the Top 14 outfit for the 2017/18 campaign after five seasons with Saracens where he became the club’s leading try scorer and won two Premiership titles and a Champions Cup with the Men in Black.
"We would like to thank Chris for his contribution to Saracens over the last five seasons and the role he played in helping us create some incredible memories during that period. Chris will still have an important role to play this season and we’ll look forward to seeing him back in action after his suspension," Mark McCall, Saracens Director of Rugby, said in a statement.
On leaving Saracens at the end of the season, Ashton said: "I’d like to put on record my thanks to Mark McCall, our Chairman Nigel Wray and the whole team at Saracens for the manner in which they have dealt with my request to join Toulon next season. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Allianz Park and I have made so many special memories on and off the field.
"I have developed as a player during my time with Sarries but more importantly I have developed as a person, and I will always be indebted to the club for that.
"There is a tremendous culture at Saracens and the bond between everyone here is very tight. It will be a real wrench for me to leave all that behind at the end of the season but I’m looking forward to a new challenge at Toulon next year. My focus now is helping the squad prepare for Leicester Tigers on Saturday, contribute to the side when I return to action later this year and hopefully make a few more memories together in a black and red shirt."
Ashton will play under former Bath boss Mike Ford at Toulon, who this week took over the reins from Diego Dominguez.