BATH trio Dave Attwood, George Ford and Anthony Watson have been included in England's 26-man squad for Saturday's RBS Six Nations opener against France.

The trio were included in head coach Stuart Lancaster's party that will travel to Paris on Thursday night as wing Chris Ashton was dropped in favour of uncapped Exeter wing Jack Nowell.

Former Wootton Bassett youngster Jonny May, of Gloucester, was also included in the party.

Ashton was selected throughout the autumn almost by default after injuries to Marland Yarde and Christian Wade limited the options available, but Lancaster's patience has been exhausted and he, alongside British and Irish Lions scrum-half Ben Youngs, has been omitted.

The uncapped Nowell will start on the right wing with May, who has made only one Test appearance, earmarked for the left flank.

Northampton's Luther Burrell is set to make his debut at outside centre, while Ford and Watson could feature on the bench depending on how Lancaster sets up his replacements.

The 23-man match-day squad will be named on Thursday morning with three players travelling as cover.

England's 26-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations match against France: Forwards (14): D Attwood (Bath Rugby), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), J Launchbury (London Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), B Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), M Mullan (London Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), H Thomas (Sale Sharks), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), T Wood (Northampton Saints), T Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Backs (12): B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), L Burrell (Northampton Saints), D Care (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath Rugby), A Goode (Saracens), J May (Gloucester Rugby), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), A Watson (Bath Rugby).