BILLY Twelvetrees has been hailed as England’s new Richard Hill after taking centre-stage during the Six Nations.
While the Gloucester centre fills a very different position to the World Cup winning flanker, he has gone about his business in a similar understated manner.
He came under-fire during the early stages of the Championship but James Simpson-Daniel, who played alongside Hill six times, reckons Twelvetrees has become England’s new Mr Reliable.
Simpson-Daniel said: “Billy received some criticism but he just got better and better. At the very top level of the game every little detail is analysed but he will take the stick and brush it off and he just grew into the jersey.
“Billy deserves a lot of credit for the way Owen Farrell and Luther Burrell have performed throughout the Championship - he does those quiet, subtle and understated things.
“A lot of players for England don’t get the credit they deserve initially; you only have to look at someone like Richard Hill.
“No one really saw what he did but then when you look closer you realise he’s actually doing all those little things, the little touches and all the graft. Billy performs that role in the backs and is always talking.
“I wouldn’t say he is 100 per cent nailed on but he has gone a long way to making the shirt his own.”
Injury permitting Twelvetrees will undoubtedly be selected for the summer tour of New Zealand but before that his focus will turn to Cherry and White matters.
Gloucester sit ninth in the Aviva Premiership but will be desperate to kick on in the remaining six league fixtures, not forgetting the Amlin Challenge Cup quarterfinal against London Wasps on April 6.
He is unlikely to feature in Saturday’s Kingsholm clash against Newcastle Falcons but Simpson-Daniel reckons he will have a major influence during the remainder of the season.
Simpson-Daniel added: “Billy can have a real impact when he returns to Gloucester and will be desperate to get back.
“Gloucester is his bread and butter and the reason he gets picked for England is because of his performances here. He will be hoping to help the club really push on at the end of the season.”