Twelvetrees poised for Gloucester move
GLOUCESTER are closing in on a deal to bring Leicester playmaker Billy Twelvetrees to Kingsholm.
The Citizen understands only formalities now stand in the way of the talented 23-year-old completing a deal to join Gloucester for next season.
The former Bedford Blues midfielder is intent on carving a full-time niche for himself at inside centre, despite his ability to operate at fly-half.
And the Cherry and Whites have offered the proficient goal-kicker the opportunity to stake a claim in his preferred position next term and beyond.
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Gloucester are thought to have beaten a number of Premiership rivals to the punch for Twelvetrees, who has informed Leicester bosses of his intention to make the Kingsholm switch.
The Tigers have recently re-signed former Gloucester centre Anthony Allen on an extended contract, and his continued presence would seem to limit Twelvetrees' options in his preferred role as a result.
Twelvetrees has emerged as Leicester's regular deputy to Toby Flood at fly-half, and that could prove another shackle to his designs on regular stints in midfield.
A physical and creative fulcrum with a siege-gun boot, Twelvetrees could now well have the chance to establish himself as a long-term midfield partner to close friend and Kingsholm outside centre Henry Trinder.
Given Freddie Burns' re-signing this week and the Cherry and Whites' determination to add an outside-half of vast experience to their ranks, with Ryan Mills coming through the ranks, Gloucester ought to be sufficiently well-stocked next term to allow Twelvetrees ample opportunity at 12.
And a deal for Twelvetrees would not necessarily alter the status of either Mike Tindall or Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.
Both Gloucester centres are out of contract at the end of the season and subject to much speculation as to their whereabouts beyond it.
But there is still no decision on either's situation, as Bryan Redpath continues to work methodically through the tail end of the retention process and crank up the recruitment drive.
The Chichester-born Tigers Academy graduate moved to Bedford for the 2008-9 season, but dominated the Championship to the extent that Leicester signed him back just a year later.
In racking up 18 tries to go with a handsome goal-kicking record, Twelvetrees ended his solitary Bedford campaign as the league's joint top points-scorer, with Nottingham fly-half David Jackson.
Twelvetrees has amassed 275 points in 37 games for the East Midlands giants since his Welford Road return, and has established himself as an accomplished and incisive Premiership operator.