Twelvetrees set for England debut
January 29, 2013
Billy Twelvetrees could make his debut against Scotland © Getty Images
Billy Twelvetrees has been retained in England's 23-man squad ahead of their match with Scotland on Saturday at Twickenham and could make his debut in the Calcutta Cup clash.
With Manu Tuilagi out injured, Twelvetrees could get the nod at centre alongside Brad Barritt for Saturday's match while another possible option could see Owen Farrell starting alongside Saracens team-mate Barritt in the centres with Toby Flood brought in at fly-half. London Irish's Jonathan Joseph was another contender to replace Tuilagi but he has been released for club duty.
Another notable omission from England's squad is Northampton's Ben Foden with Saracens' David Strettle preferred. He missed the autumn internationals due to injury but had harboured hopes of filling in at either fullback, where he started all five games during the 2012 Six Nations, or on the wing, the position he started in in two of England's three Tests with South Africa. However, in his absence Saracens' Alex Goode was given the chance to shine and he looks set to retain the fullback berth following an impressive showing against the All Blacks last month.
Alex Corbisiero will miss the Six Nations due to injury and it looks to be a straight shoot-out between Joe Marler and Mako Vunipola for the loose-head berth with the pair retained. And Dylan Hartley, who missed the autumn series through injury, will vie with Tom Youngs for the hooker berth.
"We've had to make some tough calls with a lot of competition for places," Lancaster said. "The players' attitude and application in training has been first rate and we know those going back to their clubs and playing in the Anglo-Welsh Cup will be pushing hard for contention for the Ireland match."
Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), David Strettle (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Released players: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
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