England and Sale winger Chris Ashton could be facing a lengthy ban after punching Castres’ Rory Kockott in a pre-season friendly.
Ashton saw red for the incident which took place in the early stages of the second half of Sale’s 20-17 victory over the French side on Friday.
Kockott was also sent off for his involvement by referee Romain Poite who is set to deliver his report to the RFU on Monday.
31-year old Ashton could miss the first three games of the new Premiership campaign, as suspensions for punches to the head usually start at four weeks.
The red card came in only his second game for the Sharks, having joined from Toulon in the summer.
Ashton is no stranger to controversy having been banned for both eye-gouging and biting in 2016 during his time with Premiership side Saracens.
Footage was later released which appears to show Ashton striking Kockott during the game.