Twelvetrees shines for England in late cameo

England's Billy Twelvetrees during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Millennium Stadium. Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire
England's Billy Twelvetrees during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Millennium Stadium. Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Billy Twelvetrees produced a sparkling six-minute showing to help England get their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night.

The Gloucester captain came off the bench in the closing stages of the match to make an influential contribution in the tense finale in Cardiff.

The former Horsham, Pulborough and Haywards Heath colt, from Wisborough Green, came flying into the action, as a replacement, with a number of crunching tackles as well as winning the turnover that saw George Ford slot over a late penalty in the 21-16 win.

Twelvetrees was dropped to the bench for the opener against Wales with Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph forming a new-look preferred midfield partnership.

But the centre, who has received a fair amount of criticism over the winter, pulled in the plaudits from the media, his team-mates and supporters for his creditable cameo.

He was also the talk of social media after the game and was trending on Twitter in the UK as the third most talked about topic.

Former England ace Lewis Moody tweeted: “That win puts all eyes on the Ireland game now. So chuffed for the team. So much energy and confidence. Twelvetrees was a machine off the bench.”

The ex-Weald School pupil will have done his chances of reclaiming a starting spot no harm when England host Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.