Wednesday, 26 November 2014

RUGBY; Billy Twelvetrees in line to start

Billy Twelvetrees and George Ford
Stuart Lancaster has named the same 23-man England squad that defeated Samoa to face Australia this Saturday.
It means Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees retains his place ahead of Bath's Kyle Eastmond.
Lancaster has already hinted the 26-year-old could start his first match of the autumn after coming off the bench in the 28-9 win over Samoa.
Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley are also pushing for starts ahead of James Haskell and Rob Webber respectively.
Courtney Lawes is retained in the squad despite picking up a knee injury, but there is no place for Thomas Waldrom.
Lancaster said: "There has been some strong competition for places throughout the whole series and, with our strength in depth increasing in many positions and key players to return from injury soon, we will be in good shape for 2015.
"It was great to get the win last week and the whole 23 did well so we want to give those guys another chance against an Australian team who will want to finish their season on a high."
Twelvetrees, 26, was England's first choice at inside centre for the Six Nations earlier this year, but was replaced by Eastmond in the match-day squad for the November internationals against New Zealand and South Africa.
The Gloucester skipper was called up to face Samoa after Eastmond, 25, suffered concussion. Eastmond will remain with his club Bath, having played in the 33-23 win over London Irish last weekend.
Owen Farrell started at inside centre against Samoa, but Lancaster says Twelvetrees has forced his way back into contention.
"Billy Twelvetrees has responded well to the feedback I have given him. He did well from the bench and has put himself right back in the mix," he told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday.
"We gave Kyle a chance from the start but Billy's chance could be just around the corner."
Number eight Waldrom, who has scored seven tries in eight Premiership matches for Exeter this season, was recalled to the squad in place of Billy Vunipola. But Lancaster has retained James Haskell to face Australia.
Elsewhere hooker Dylan Hartley and flanker Tom Wood are thought to be pressing for a recall to the starting team. Lancaster will confirm his line-up on Thursday.
England squad to face Australia
Forwards: Dave Attwood (Bath), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Rob Webber (Bath), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton).
Backs: Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Anthony Watson (Bath), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester).
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