SPORT

Six Nations 2014: George Ford Replaces Toby Flood In England Squad

09/01/2014 16:02 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 15:53 GMT

Toby Flood's England career looks officially over after George Ford was confirmed as his replacement in Stuart Lancaster's Elite Player Squad.

Former Leicester playmaker Ford is the only change to Lancaster's EPS, with Freddie Burns keeping his place alongside first-choice fly-half Owen Farrell.

george ford bath

Leicester's George Ford has been promoted to the full England squad

England head coach Lancaster said: "We have kept changes to a minimum because we believe this squad can take us forward into 2015.

"I am delighted for George, who is rewarded for his form for Bath and we are excited about including him in the senior Elite Player Squad."

Leicester fly-half Flood will join Toulouse in the summer, and England do not select overseas-based players.

So Lancaster has chosen to jettison the former Newcastle man now rather than in the summer.

Flood's England career therefore appears to be over after winning 60 caps, while former Leicester man Ford steps into the squad on a full-time basis.

Lancaster has made only one official change to his EPS, but eight England Saxons stars are set to make senior England appearances during the RBS 6 Nations.

With injury concerns surrounding a host of senior England men, Lancaster has taken the option to promote a host of second-string men on a short-term basis.

Northampton's Luther Burrell, Exeter duo Tom Johnson and Jack Nowell, Jonny May from Gloucester and Matt Mullan from Wasps are all among that eight.

Leicester's Ed Slater, Sale prop Henry Thomas and Bath's young wing Anthony Watson complete the set.

Props Mullan and Thomas step up to cover tighthead David Wilson's calf injury which could sideline him for a month, the majority of the Six Nations tournament.

The England boss admitted he could not reasonably select Flood, despite pleading with the 28-year-old not to move to France in the summer.

"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."

England Senior Elite Performance Squad:

Forwards: Attwood (Bath), Cole (Leicester), Corbisiero (Northampton), Croft (Leicester), Hartley (Northampton), Kvesic (Gloucester), Launchbury (Wasps), Lawes (Northampton), Marler (Harlequins), Morgan (Gloucester), Parling (Leicester), Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), Wilson (Bath), Wood (Northampton), Youngs (Leicester).

Backs: Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins), Burns (Gloucester), Care (Harlequins), Dickson (Northampton), Eastmond (Bath), Farrell (Saracens), Foden (Northampton), Ford (Bath), Goode (Saracens), Tuilagi (Leicester), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Wade (Wasps), Yarde (London Irish), Youngs (Leicester).

England RBS Six Nations squad:

Forwards: Attwood (Bath), Cole (Leicester), Hartley (Northampton), Kvesic (Gloucester), Johnson (Exeter), Launchbury (Wasps), Lawes (Northampton), Marler (Harlequins), Morgan (Gloucester), Mullan (Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins), Slater (Leicester), Thomas (Sale Sharks), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), Webber (Bath), Wood (Northampton), Youngs (Leicester)

Backs: Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins), Burrell (Northampton), Care (Harlequins), Dickson (Northampton), Eastmond (Bath), Farrell (Saracens), Ford (Bath), Goode (Saracens), May (Gloucester), Myler (Northampton), Nowell (Exeter), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Youngs (Leicester), Watson (Bath), Wigglesworth (Saracens).