Twelvetrees keeps England shirt for Ireland
BILLY Twelvetrees has kept his place in the England side to face Ireland in the second Six Nations match in Dublin on Sunday.
The Gloucester playmaker enjoyed a fantastic debut against Scotland last week which was capped off with a try in the 38-18 Twickenham success.
Unfortunately an ankle injury has ruled out Twelvetree’s club-mate Ben Morgan with James Haskell coming in at blindside and Tom Wood shifting across to number eight in the only change.
The return to fitness of Leicester’s bulldozing outside centre Manu Tuilagi gave head coach Stuart Lancaster a headache but he has kept faith with Twelvetrees and Saracens’ Brad Barritt.
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Tuilagi will be asked to make an impact from the replacements as he takes over from Saracens’ David Strettle with Thomas Waldrom taking Haskell’s bench slot.
Lancaster said he had some tough calls to make but Twelvetrees’ performance had earned him a second consecutive start.
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We were pleased with our intent to play against Scotland.
"A lot of the players performed very well and with Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions.
“But with the centres playing well last week and Manu still returning to match fitness, having not played for the last four weeks, he and others will give us great options from the bench in what I am sure will be a physical encounter.
“It was good to have Billy Vunipola be able to train with us in the middle of the week but he needs some game time so he and David Strettle will be available for their clubs this weekend.”
England: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees, Mike Brown; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling; James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood. Replacements: Dylan Hartley, David Wilson, Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, Thomas Waldrom, Danny Care, Toby Flood, Manusamoa Tuilagi.