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VIDEO – England excitement won't wear off for Twelvetrees

24 October 2013

  • Centre eager to take Lions lessons into autumn
  • Twelvetrees outlines the threat of Wallaby runners

Spending part of the summer away on the successful British and Irish Lions tour to Australia has done nothing to dampen Billy Twelvetrees’ desire to perform in an England shirt.

Brought into Warren Gatland’s squad as injury cover after impressing for his country in the first Test against Argentina in Salta, the Gloucester Rugby centre is now determined to build on his experiences and produce an excellent performance against the Wallabies at Twickenham on November 2.

Billy Twelvetrees

Photo: Getty Images

“You’re excited every time you are named in a squad and you are always just as apprehensive leading up to an announcement waiting to hear your name,” he said midway through England’s training camp in Leeds.

“It was great for me going into [the Lions] environment and learning off people you’ve watched on the TV – the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies. They are people in my position who I’d never otherwise get the chance to play or train with.

“To have those guys around you is great. From that point of view I’ve taken every benefit I can from it and have taken it into Gloucester and hopefully to England.”

Having enjoyed a fairly consistent start to the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup campaigns despite mixed results for Gloucester, Twelvetrees has been joined by West Country colleague Henry Trinder in Stuart Lancaster’s squad for the QBE Internationals.

Billy Twelvetrees

Photo: Getty Images

And though too modest to elaborate on the possibility of lining up in midfield alongside his clubmate in a Test, the 24 year-old was certain that Trinder deserved his promotion.

“Henry’s a huge talent,” he explained. “Everyone recognises that at Gloucester and obviously at England as well.

“He’s a great guy to have around too. He’s always positive around the boys and has some different attributes that set him apart from other centres – he’s quite nippy and has a useful left foot.”

If selected for any of the QBE Internationals next month, Twelvetrees’ ability to step in at first-receiver will be an important facet of England’s attacking structure.

Indeed, highlighting that responsibility as something he “relishes”, the former Leicester Tiger asserted that a number of players may have to step up to that role in order for England to play in a fast, fluid manner.

Finishing with a glance at Australia, Twelvetrees praised their resurgence in recent months – not least during Saturday’s 41-33 defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin.

Tevita Kuridrani

Photo: Getty Images

Tevita Kuridrani was a stand-out for the Wallabies that day and – having been involved as he scored for the Brumbies in the Lions only midweek defeat – Twelvetrees singled him out as one of Ewen MacKenzie’s key threats.

“[Australia] have been playing some great rugby in The Rugby Championship and will have built a lot of confidence as well,” he said. “They’ve got such quality in their squad and as a nation they are really competitive – they always have been.

“We’re fully aware of what they can do and they turned England over at Twickenham last year. If we’re not switched on it’ll be a tough day but we are quietly confident.

“[Kuridrani] is a very tough opponent – I remember running into him and being driven back five metres.  He’s strong, powerful and is a good defender and ball-carrier as well.

“Like a lot of their players he is a natural footballer, he’s good on the ball and runs good lines. It’ll be a great thing for us to play against such quality opposition.”