Danny Cipriani, Brad Barritt, Tom Wood and Tom Youngs omitted from England squad
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 14/01/16 6:59am
Danny Cipriani, Tom Wood, Brad Barritt and Tom Youngs were the big-name casualties as new England coach Eddie Jones named his first Elite Player squad.
There are seven uncapped players in the squad: Exeter centre Sam Hill, Sale Sharks No 8 Josh Beaumont - son of former England captain Bill - Saracens forward Maro Itoje, Harlequins flanker Jack Clifford, Wasps centre Elliot Daly, Bath back Ollie Devoto and Northampton prop Paul Hill.
Saracens winger Chris Ashton returns along with Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley - who was left out of the World Cup squad by Jones' predecessor Stuart Lancaster - Leicester's Manu Tuilagi and Harlequins wing Marland Yarde.
Jones has not revealed who his captain will be for the Six Nations opener against Scotland. That announcement is expected in a couple of weeks. Chris Robshaw, captain under Stuart Lancaster, keeps his place in the squad.
Cipriani has been in and out of the England squad since he made his debut in 2008. But at the age of 28 his omission could spell the end of the Sale Sharks fly-half's international ambitions.
Northampton back-row Wood, Saracens centre Barritt and Leicester hooker Youngs - who was first-choice No 2 in the World Cup - were all fixtures under Lancaster but their international prospects now look bleak along with those of Gloucester No 8 Ben Morgan, Bath prop David Wilson, Bath hooker Rob Webber and Exeter lock Geoff Parling.
Leicester centre Tuilagi, who has just returned to action after 15 months out injured, is included, although he will not be considered for the first three Six Nations games, with Devoto covering him.
Just two scrum-halves are included - Danny Care and Ben Youngs - which means no place for Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth or Wasps' Joe Simpson.
Perhaps the biggest surprise name in the 33-man squad is Exeter's powerful centre Hill. His barnstorming performances in the Chiefs midfield have helped turn Exeter into Aviva Premiership title contenders.
Former England Students skipper Beaumont, 23, is a late developer, switching from lanky fly-half to forward in his late teens, but he has been in brilliant form this season for Sale at the back of their scrum.
The inclusion of the all-action Itoje - who can play as a lock or flanker - was expected and he is a potential left-field pick as captain. Quins' impressive young flanker Clifford looks likely to be in a battle with Gloucester's Matt Kvesic for the No 7 shirt, with Robshaw expected to be competing for a place on the blindside flank.
Daly's speed, quick feet and mighty kicking ability makes him a genuine contender to start in midfield against the Scots.
Jones said: "We have selected a squad of players who we think can go to Murrayfield and win. This is our number one priority, to start with a win, so we have picked a squad which is a mix of experience and potential.
"I have spoken to some of the players who have not been selected. Naturally they will be disappointed and that is how it should be.
"They know what they need to do to get back into this squad. The door is not shut for anyone. There is no such thing as a shut door because of injuries and loss of form.
"There will always be opportunities to anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership and Europe."
Forwards: Josh Beaumont, Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Clifford, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Paul Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Matt Kvesic (injury replacement for Dave Ewers), Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Henry Thomas (injury replacement for Kieran Brookes), Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola.
Backs: Chris Ashton, Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto (injury replacement for Manu Tuilagi), Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Sam Hill (injury replacement for Henry Slade), Jonathan Joseph, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.