WORCESTER Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas has confirmed that winger Chris Ashton will not be available for selection this weekend against Northampton Saints.

The former England international won't feature this Friday at Franklin's Gardens for an unspecified reason.

There was a rumour circulating on Twitter that Ashton and new second-row signing Matt Garvey had been suspended by the club, but the Worcester News understands the latter has not.

When asked about the situation at the weekly press conference, Jonathan Thomas said: "We don't comment on speculation or rumours.

"Chris (Ashton) is unavailable for selection this weekend. As it stands, he is unavailable but there is nothing else to comment on further, other than his selection this weekend."

When asked about the absence of Garvey last week in the defeat to Leicester Tigers and whether he would be involved on Friday, Thomas added: "We haven't finalised the team yet, so I cannot confirm that at the moment."

There was little else said about the matter but the news means Ashton misses yet another game.

He has played just four games for the club and injuries during pre-season in the summer have meant he is yet to make an appearance in the 2021/22 campaign.

The ex-Northampton Saints man made the move to Sixways in January but was sent-off during the defeat to Saints in March and was banned for six games and did not play again in the 2020/21 campaign.

Last month there were more rumours involving Ashton, with a suggestion he and Warriors had 'fallen-out'.

Thomas laughed it off at the time, saying he and the winger even shared a hug after training a few weeks ago.

"It's been really tough for him since he has come to the cub, he's had calf issues, knee issues," he commented in September.

"He is a champion player and very, very competitive and it's been frustrating for him not being able to get on the field."