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Gloucester Rugby: Billy Twelvetrees 'happy to play at 10'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 30, 2013

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BILLY Twelvetrees has urged Freddie Burns to stay at Gloucester but insists the club can cope with his departure.

Burns is set to quit Kingsholm to join Leicester Tigers in the summer with a three-year deal expected to be announced in the new year.

Twelvetrees hopes his England team-mate will reconsider but is adamant the Cherry and Whites can thrive without the 23-year-old starlet.

He said: “I would love to see Fred in a Gloucester shirt for the foreseeable future.

“I’m a good friend of his and love playing alongside him. He’s a hugely talented player and whatever his thoughts are I’m fully behind him.

“Coming from Leicester myself it was a great environment to be in and I’ve always said that.

‘’If any player wants to go there, fair play, it’s a great club with great traditions but so is Gloucester.

“Like any player who moves on it’s a loss but the team will continue to build. Whatever happens we will deal with it as a club and move on.”

Twelvetrees continued in the number 10 jersey in the victory over London Irish, with out-of-form and favour Burns left on the bench once again. The centre-cum-fly-half pulled the strings effectively at the Madejski Stadium, putting the forwards in the right areas and kicking five out of five shots at goal.

Nigel Davies does not view the England star as a long-term solution to the fly-half position but Twelvetrees is happy to do whatever it takes to help the Cherry and Whites.

He said: “You have to put the team first. I’m enjoying it and will do whatever I can to help the team.

“I love playing 12 because of the physical side of the game – you get to run into brick walls and gaps and people run at you. But part of me being a Gloucester player means I have to help the team out and I’m enjoying playing at 10.

“Going forward I don’t know where I will play but I enjoy every opportunity to put the shirt on. Gloucester comes first and if Nigel wants me to play 10, 12, 9, 13, second-row I will do it. I want to put things right on the pitch and get those wins.”

The 22-19 victory on Sunday ensured the Cherry and Whites completed a festive double to finish a tumultuous 2013 on a high. They face Premiership pacesetters Saracens next and Twelvetrees has urged his side to continue to build upon their return to Kingsholm.

He added: “We came down with a bit of confidence from the victory last week and wanted to get another win.

“It’s a nice track at the Madejski and it’s always a fast running game which suits us.

“If the forwards give you a platform it’s a lot easier at 10 and if you have exciting backs outside you can give them ball to do damage.

“It was a bit frustrating again at times against London Irish but we’re getting there.

“You have to play the game to where we are at the minute. They gave us a lot of space at the back and when you have a good pack with the lineout going well you have opportunities to steal and put pressure on them.

“They are very good attacking so we didn’t want to give them too much ball but wanted to turn them around and make them play from deep.

“We want to play as much as we can but we have to live in the moment and strike a balance.

“We targeted these two games to get a bit of confidence back, to get back to winning ways and we’re very pleased with the way the forwards have fronted up to give us a platform.

“The scrum and lineout has been terrific for us and from 1-23 the boys have all stepped up. In any sport you need confidence and momentum. To play Saracens, the top team in the Premiership, is exciting and to have them at Kingsholm is a big thing – the boys are confident and looking forward to it.

“Winning becomes a habit and confidence is a good thing to have. We’ve got back to winning ways and want to push on.”

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  • Conran_Selby  |  December 30 2013, 2:50PM

    This is all well and good but what a club like Gloucester Rugby really needs to do is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, starts as many games for Gloucester as is possible. They also need to get some decent back up in for him.

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