Danny Care will not be included in the England squad for the Six Nations following his arrest for drink-driving on New Year’s Eve.
The Harlequins scrum half missed the Rugby World Cup last year through injury but was expected to return to the squad to compete with Leicester’s Ben Youngs for the England number nine shirt.
The decision by interim head coach, Stuart Lancaster, sends a strong message to potential members of his squad, which will be named on January 11.
England’s Rugby World Cup campaign in New Zealand was dogged by accusations of ill-discipline, following incidents during a night out in Queenstown, accusations of harassment against a member of staff in the team hotel in Dunedin and the arrest of Manu Tuilagi for jumping off a ferry in Auckland harbour.
In a statement Care said: “I do accept that I made a very bad decision on the evening in question and need to take the punishment that the courts hand out. I have decided not to contest the charge as I want to bring this to a close swiftly rather than have it hanging over my head for a year or more.
"I would stress though that at no time did I think I had drunk enough to be over the legal limit. However I should not have got into the car and have to accept the consequences of that action.
"I am devastated not to be selected for the Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations as I felt I had been playing near the top of my game with Quins. However I wish the team, and the other number 9s who come in to play, the best of luck as playing for your country is the highest honour in the game and I will miss it hugely. It’s now up to me to get my head down, keep playing well and learn from my actions.
"Quins and Stuart have been very supportive and I totally accept their sanctions .I do understand the need for England players to be role models in the game and have tried to live up to that at all times, but have made a couple of stupid decisions in the past weeks. I can only hope for the chance in the future to prove those decisions were the exception not the rule. I am devastated because my actions have let so many people down.”