Twelvetrees starts at centre against Australia

Nov 27 • General News, International, World Rugby • 1906 Views • Comments Off on Twelvetrees starts at centre against Australia

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Billy Twelvetrees has been handed his first start of the 2014 QBE Internationals against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports HD 2).

The Gloucester Rugby centre, who started every game in last season’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, takes the number 12 jersey and shifts Saracen Owen Farrell to the replacements’ bench as George Ford is retained at fly half.

Up front, Northampton Saints pair Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley take over from James Haskell (Wasps) and Rob Webber (Bath Rugby) at blindside flanker and hooker respectively.

Despite those changes to the run-on side, the same match-day 23 who beat Samoa 28-9 last weekend will be on duty as England look to secure a 10th victory in 13 Twickenham Tests.

Reviewing his selection, Head Coach Stuart Lancaster praised Twelvetrees for his committed self-development over the current campaign.

“It’s good to be able to give Billy his first start of the series,” he said. “He took on board the feedback we gave him when he first came into camp and he has worked hard both with us and at Gloucester and deserves his chance.

“Owen is a key part of our squad and will offer a huge amount from the bench.”

While Haskell and Webber should also bring dynamism and know-how when called upon, Lancaster suggested that both Hartley and Wood were eager to make an impact from the very start of a high-stakes meeting with Michael Cheika’s Wallabies.

“The Samoa game gave us the opportunity to give James and Rob a start and they made a good contribution. Tom and Dylan were disappointed not to be in the XV against Samoa.

“They are desperate to go out and perform on Saturday to help us finish the series on a high.”

England team to face Australia

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 32 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
13. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 21 caps)
12. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 15 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 10 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 41 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 25 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 60 caps)
3. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)
4. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 35 caps)
6. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 33 caps
7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 31 caps, captain)
8. Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 26 caps)

Replacements

16. Rob Webber (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
17. Matt Mullan (Wasps, 8 caps)
18. Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps)
19. George Kruis (Saracens, 3 caps)
20. James Haskell (Wasps, 52 caps)
21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 15 caps
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 28 caps
23. Marland Yarde (Harlequins, 6 caps)

Courtesy of RFU

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