France drop Michalak

Getty Images     07 Jan 2014     Getty Images

First five-eighths Michalak's exclusion follows a frustrating domestic season with Toulon, the 31-year-old starting just two of their 16 league games.

Montpellier first five Francois Trinh-Duc is another notable absentee, with his last appearance coming against Scotland in last year's tournament.

Head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has instead turned to uncapped number 10 Jules Plisson following a promising season, while his Stade Francais team-mates Hugo Bonneval and Antoine Burban are also included for the first time, as is Castres full-back Geoffrey Palis.

France have several injury concerns ahead of the tournament, with Morgan Parra, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Camille Lopez and Florian Fritz all unavailable.

The squad will meet for a week-long training camp at Canet en Roussillon on January 19, with the quota set to be trimmed to 23 ahead of their Six Nations opener with England at the Stade de France on February 1.

Saint-Andre will be hoping his side can bounce back from a disastrous 2013 tournament that saw France take home the wooden spoon for the first time since 1999.

Squad in full:

Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan), Antoine Burban (Stade Francais), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, captain), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-Metro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).

Backs: Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Remi Tales (Castres), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Sofiane Guitoune (Perpignan), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Geoffrey Palis (Castres), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Francais), Brice Dulin (Castres).