England rugby international, Billy Twelvetrees, has been called up to the British and Irish Lions team due to their back line being tackled with injury. Lions’ Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell are suffering from a hamstring injury and cannot play in the upcoming Lions games, whilst Manu Tuilagi picked up an injury in the 22-12 victory over Queensland. The Lions have already had to call up Simon Zebo as a replacement winger and they have also recruited Alex Corbisiero and Ryan Grant due to other injuries.
Billy Twelvetrees has been on international duty this weekend playing, and scoring a try, in the 32-3 win over the Pumas. The 24-year old has played for England 5 times now, with four of his caps being in arguably England’s most important rugby tournament, the RBS Six Nations. Twelvetrees currently plays centre or fly-half for Gloucester Rugby in his club career so he is expected to cover those positions for the Lions. However, he has not yet been told who he is going to replace so his position could be in various places.
Billy Twelvetrees commented, “I am hugely honoured to be thought of and very excited to get out there and join up with the squad. It is a boyhood dream. I remember the Lions in 2001 in Australia. We were going on holiday to Devon and I listened to that third Test defeat on the radio. The other side of my family is Australian and it is something dear to my heart. It was disappointing back then but to go out there and meet up with the squad now is pretty cool.”
Billy Twelvetrees was nearly picked for the first team before they went on tour but narrowly missed out on the cut. The British and Irish Lions’ coach, Warren Gatland, stated, “The nature of a Lions tour means that there will inevitably be knocks which take time to recover from. The whole squad have worked hard but a lot of the backs have doubled up over the last two games, either starting or from the bench. Billy played well in the first Test for England and he provides that versatility to cover a variety of positions.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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