18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Back's omission means that Richard Hill could now move from blindside in a new look back-row. Also dropped from England's World Cup squad were Saracens scrum-half Kyran Bracken, Back's club team-mate and utility forward Martin Corry and experienced Leicester prop Graham Rowntree.
Woodward said: "It's always hard to leave out such established international players as Back, Bracken, Corry and Rowntree but as always I am looking at current form and will continue to do so throughout the Six Nations and beyond."
In all nine players were not considered because of injury, including fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, experienced Bath centres Mike Catt and Mike Tindall.
Woodward, whose team will be led by new captain Lawrence Dallaglio will reduce the 28-man squad to a matchday 22 today (Monday).
He has also invited eight of England's rising stars to train with the senior squad including Leeds flyers Phil Christophers and Dan Scarborough.
England Squad for game v Italy, Rome, Sunday. Backs: Iain Balshaw (Bath), Ollie Barkley (Bath), Ben Cohen (Northampton), Matt Dawson (Northampton), Andy Gomarsall (Gloucester), Paul Grayson (Northampton), Will Greenwood (Harlequins), Alex King (Wasps), Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Henry Paul (Gloucester), Jason Robinson (Sale), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), Ollie Smith (Leicester) Forwards: Steve Borthwick (Bath), Lawrence Dallaglio Wasps, capt, Danny Grewcock (Bath), Richard Hill (Saracens), Chris Jones (Sale), Ben Kay (Leicester), Jason Leonard (Harlequins), Mark Regan (Leeds), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Matt Stevens (Bath), Steve Thompson (Northampton), Phil Vickery (Gloucester), Dorian West (Leicester), Trevor Woodman (Gloucester), Joe Worsley (Wasps). Young players to train with senior squad: Phil Christophers (Leeds), Harry Ellis (Leicester), David Flatman (Bath), Andy Hazell (Gloucester), James Forrester (Gloucester), Tom Palmer (Leeds), Dan Scarbrough (Leeds), Andy Titterrell (Sale)
Ireland squad for the game v France, Paris, February 14th). Forwards: Shane Byrne (Leinster - Blackrock College), Reggie Corrigan (Leinster - Greystones), Victor Costello (Leinster - St. Mary's College), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Anthony Foley (Munster - Shannon), Keith Gleeson (Leinster - St. Mary's College), John Hayes (Munster - Shannon), Marcus Horan (Munster - Shannon), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster - Cork Constitution), Paul O'Connell (Munster - Young Munster), Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster - St. Mary's College), Frank Sheahan (Munster - Cork Constitution). Backs: Gordon Darcy (Leinster - Lansdowne), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster - Terenure College), Guy Easterby (Rotherham), Shane Horgan (Leinster - Lansdowne), Tyrone Howe (Ulster - Dungannon), David Humphreys (Ulster - Dungannon), Kevin Maggs (Bath), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster - Blackrock College) capt, Ronan O'Gara (Munster - Cork Constitution), Peter Stringer (Munster - Shannon).
France Six Nations squad to play Ireland: Forwards: Pieter De Villiers (Stade Francais), Yannick Bru (Toulouse), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Francais), Jean-Jacques Crenca (Agen), William Servat (Toulouse), Fabien Pelous (Toulouse) capt, David Auradou (Stade Francais), Pascal Pape (Bourgoin), Olivier Magne (Montferrand), Imanol Harinordoquy (Pau), Serge Betsen (Biarritz), Thomas Lievremont (Biarritz) Backs: Nicolas Brusque (Biarritz), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Pepito Elhorga (Agen), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Brian Liebenberg (Stade Francais), Damien Traille (Pau), Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (Toulouse), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Christophe Dominici (Stade Francais)
Scotland squad for the game v Wales, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on February 14th:
Backs: Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Borders), Simon Danielli (Bath/ENG), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow), Ben Hinshelwood (Worcester/ENG), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh), Derrick Lee (Edinburgh), Gareth Morton (Borders), Dan Parks (Glasgow), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)capt, Tom Philip (Edinburgh), Nikki Walker (Borders), Simon Webster (Edinburgh) Forwards: Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow), Simon Cross (Edinburgh), Bruce Douglas (Borders), Stuart Grimes (Newcastle), Nathan Hines (Edinburgh), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), Gavin Kerr (Leeds/ENG), Cameron Mather (Glasgow), Scott Murray (Edinburgh), Rob Russell (Saracens/ENG), Tom Smith (Northampton/ENG), Simon Taylor (Edinburgh), Jason White (Sale)
Wales Squad. Backs: Garan Evans (Llanelli Scarlets), Rhys Williams (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Neath-Swansea Ospreys), Craig Morgan (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Thomas (Celtic Warriors), Hal Luscombe (Gwent Dragons), Jamie Robinson (Blues), Mark Taylor (Scarlets), Tom Shanklin (Blues), Sonny Parker (Warriors), Iestyn Harris (Blues), Ceri Sweeney (Warriors), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Dwayne Peel (Scarlets), Gareth Cooper (Warriors)
Forwards: Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Warriors), Robin McBryde (Scarlets), Gareth Williams (Blues), Mefin Davies (Warriors), Robert Sidoli (Warriors), Brent Cockbain (Warriors), Gareth Llewellyn (Ospreys), Michael Owen (Dragons), Colin Charvis (Tarbes, FRA,) capt, Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Martyn Williams (Blues), Alix Popham (Leeds)
Italian Squad for the game v England. Forwards: Martin Castrogiovanni (Calvisano), Andrea Lo Cicero (Lazio and Primavera), Salvatore Perugini (Calvisano), Carlo Festuccia (Gran Parma), Fabio Ongaro (Treviso), Cristian Bezzi (Viadana), Marco Bortolami (Padova), Carlo Checcinato (Treviso), Santiago Dellape (Treviso), Andrea De Rossi (Calvisano, capt), Silvio Orlando (Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Treviso), Aaron Persico (Leeds/ENG) Scott Palmer (Treviso) Backs: Paul Griffen (Calvisano), Simon Picone (Treviso), Roland De Marigny (Overmach Parma), Rima Wakarua (Leonessa Brescia), Matteo Barbini (Padova), Manuel Dallan, (Treviso), Cristian Stoica (Montpellier/FRA), Denis Dallan (Treviso), Nicola Mazzucato (Calvisano), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Andrea Masi (Viadana).