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RBS 6 Nations: England head coach Stuart Lancaster praises Billy Twelvetrees

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 09, 2014

Billy Twelvetrees is developing a good centre partnership with Luther Burrell

Scotland 0 England 20

BILLY Twelvetrees has been praised by England head coach Stuart Lancaster after the impressive win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. The Gloucester centre’s developing partnership with Luther Burrell has been one of the positives of England’s Six Nations campaign so far with the Northampton Saints player scoring tries in each of his first two games for his country.

Twelvetrees won his 10th cap against Scotland and Lancaster said: "The work that (assistant coaches) Andy Farrell and Mike Catt have done with Luther and Billy is really paying off.

"The timing and number of options going into the line were excellent and Luther's try was a good case in point.

"They're going well as a partnership, especially given that they've only trained together for two weeks and have played twice.

"They'll need to be on top of their game against the Irish centres, who are clearly world class."

England host Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday, February 22, and Lancaster admitted England's victory over Scotland should have been more comfortable.

Tries from Mike Brown and Burrell helped dispatch feeble opposition and thrust England back into title contention.

Lancaster was pleased with a highly-effective performance that kept Scotland pointless for the first time since 1978, but accepted that more tries should have been scored.

"We were pleased with a lot of aspects, but are frustrated that we didn't convert more of our opportunities because we dominated the second half," the said.

"There were chances there that we didn't take and we definitely have regrets over the points we left out there.

"We played some really good stuff in difficult conditions. Scotland had to defend desperately."

Another pleasing aspect to emerge from the trip to Edinburgh was the lack of injuries with Joe Launchbury suffering a dead leg and Gloucester wing Jonny May departing with cramp. Both will be available to face Ireland in two weeks time.

Lancaster insists England are back in the title frame after atoning for their 26-24 defeat by France on the opening day of the Championship.

"Even though we lost to France we always felt we're still in it," Lancaster said.

"It does set us up for an important game against Ireland. Ireland have played two, won two and have played really well. But we're confident also."

For Scotland, it was another day to forget. The visitors, for whom Gloucester number eight Ben Morgan went on as a late replacement, enjoyed 65 per cent of the second-half possession and it was little surprise England were able to turn down many of the 16 penalties they won in favour of chasing an extra try.

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