NO MATTER what happens in the Six Nations hopefully Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees can flourish together in the long-term with England.
The midfield pair work well and link together well, and hopefully that will put them in a good situation moving forward.
Stuart Lancaster obviously likes Billy's style – that was obvious from when he coached both of us in the Saxons.
That's sometimes half the battle, and I hope Billy can make a big impression with England right now – and Freddie moving forward too once he's over his injury. It is great working with a playmaker like Billy as an inside centre.
In the back-three you crave players in the midfield who can create space for you: you want ball in space and you want room to run.
Crash-ball runners can create space well obviously, and the best way to capitalise on that is to run short lines on shoulders to exploit offloads – Chris Ashton does that to great effect.
Personally around powerful runners I will go infield and look to create, like a playmaker, because that's what works for me.
So it's great to have someone like Billy in our side, who can take pressure off Freddie with extra options, has a great boot on him, is very creative but can also cut good lines too. I think he's such an important player for us at Gloucester because increasingly he will be able to get the best out of the pace in our back-three – and he's also a very strong defender.
England start off against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday – and I think that could be a very tough game.
I would expect it to be close for the most part, but England to edge away.
That said, if things don't go according to plan then England could find themselves in trouble.
Lancaster's men will be desperate to build on that impressive win over New Zealand that closed their autumn run: they can do it, but it will not be easy.
Whisper it quietly but Worcester on agendaTHE home straight is in sight with my injury recovery.I was told to expect to be ready for the middle of March but I might be able to be back inside a month now – and that’s definitely ahead of schedule.I’m very pleased with where I’m at now, and I’ve just got to iron out a couple of things.If I can just get rid of this last bit of niggling pain I can get involved with conditioning games, then I’ll get back involved with the backline – and hopefully before you know it you’re targeting a specific match.If things go very well I might just be ready for Worcester in late February or Bath at the start of March – but recovery dates are never an exact science.The great news is things have moved from having no real idea to at least looking at a potential window of matches.So it’s good news, but I’ve got to make sure I don’t get my hopes up too much too soon because there’s still a lot of hard work ahead.Intensity of rivalry can never be dimmedBATH are never taken lightly, whatever the competition, venue or scenario.We absolutely do not want to lose to Bath any time, especially at home.And I think it’s a good time to host them at Kingsholm, ahead of our return to the Premiership a week later at Northampton.Nothing focuses the mind or the motivation like our local derby, and I know the boys cannot wait.