• Ford in for England

    England coach Stuart Lancaster has picked Bath playmaker George Ford ahead of former in-favour flyhalf Toby Flood for the Six Nations training squad.

    Lancaster said that Flood was considered, but his decision to join French club Toulon at the end of the season made his inclusion difficult.

    ‘I have met Toby Flood several times and told him I really wanted him to stay at Leicester and play for England. He has made a lifestyle choice and we respect that, but given the RFU's policy of not selecting players based overseas, save for exceptional circumstances, it was important that we allow others such as George Ford to progress,’ said Lancaster.

    Ford will likely be behind Owen Farrell in the flyhalf pecking order; Farrell having put in strong performances in the No 10 jersey in 2013.

    As well as the 33-men that make up the elite squad, Lancaster has named an additional 11 to form the group that will tackle the Six Nations. The extra squad is named due to the mounting injuries that Lancaster has on his hands, with key players such as Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft and Manu Tuilagi ruled out.

    England’s first Six Nations match is against France in Paris on 1 February.

    England Elite Players Squad (33)

    Forwards (17): David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

    Backs (16): Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Marland Yarde (London Irish), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

    England Six Nations players (35)

    Forwards (18): Attwood, Cole, Hartley,  Kvesic,  Launchbury,  Lawes, Marler,  Morgan,  Robshaw, B Vunipola, M Vunipola, Wood, Youngs, Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Mullan (London Wasps), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby),

    Backs (17): Ashton, Barritt, Brown, Care, Dickson, Eastmond, Farrell, Ford, Goode, Twelvetrees, Youngs, Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

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