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Lancaster is backing Billy to be England's super sub

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

Comments (6)

SUPER sub Billy Twelvetrees can add an extra dimension to England's attack in the second half against France tomorrow, believes Stuart Lancaster.

England boss Lancaster explained his decision to restore Manu Tuilagi to the starting line-up, at Gloucester centre Twelvetrees' expense.

Lancaster predicts three main challenges against the French at Twickenham tomorrow (kick-off 5pm): set-piece struggles, breaking the gain line and creating scything breaks out wide.

And the England head coach reckons 24-year-old Twelvetrees can help conjure try-scoring chances as the game breaks up in the closing stages.

Lancaster said: "Once again we've picked a bench to come on and influence the game in the second half and the last quarter.

"There's three main challenges for this game: the set-piece, the gain line, and then the expansive element as the game opens up.

"Courtney Lawes adds an extra option at the tail of the lineout, Dylan Hartley bolsters the weight in the scrum and Manu Tuilagi gives us power to get over the gain line.

"But then we need quality to open things up as the game becomes looser in the second half.

"And Billy will be a massive help with that.

"Billy has done extremely well in adapting to the level and to settling into what we do.

"He's a hugely talented player, and he has really shown what he's capable of.

"And it will be exciting to see the likes of Billy, Tom Youngs and Danny Care come off the bench and influence the game as it opens up."

ENGLAND: A Goode, C Ashton, M Tuilagi, B Barritt, M Brown, B Youngs, J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole, J Launchbury, G Parling, C Lawes, C Robshaw (capt), T Wood. Replacements: T Youngs, D Wilson, M Vunipola, J Haskell, T Waldrom, D Care, T Flood, B Twelvetrees.

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  • StanFromGlaws  |  February 22 2013, 4:59PM

    Without an once of a doubt, Rupert Harden, our first choice tight head, is the best number 3 at Gloucester Rugby.

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  • Brasher  |  February 22 2013, 4:57PM

    Nigel Davies, that astute and knowledgeable DoR at Gloucester Rugby has made Harden his first choice tight-head, selecting Harden to start 11 out of 15 Premiership games. Says it all, really.

    |   6
  • Wilson640  |  February 22 2013, 4:55PM

    Harden = the best tight head at Gloucester.

    |   6
  • Deadeye_Glaws  |  February 22 2013, 4:51PM

    Rupert Harden owns the tight head spot.

    |   6
  • alex_bound  |  February 22 2013, 4:50PM

    Harden owns the number 3 shirt. He has no real competition for it.

    |   6
  • CurtDowne  |  February 22 2013, 4:48PM

    Rupert Harden has 11 starts out of 15 premiership games for Gloucester this season, plus another two. That makes him the top rated tight head at Gloucester in anyone's books (except for the sad troll akadau/cameron_ctfc/graybaggs/Kap721 who is pretty clueless about everything, really).

    |   6