Six Nations: I hope Twelvetrees leaves me with tough decision says Lancaster
'OBVIOUS selection' Billy Twelvetrees can prove he has the perfect blend of playmaking, pace and power on his England debut, believes Stuart Lancaster.
England boss Lancaster had no hesitation pitching Gloucester centre Twelvetrees straight into Six Nations action, only a month after his full elevation to the England Elite Player Squad.
Backing Twelvetrees to shine against Scotland tomorrow (kick-off 4pm), Lancaster said the 24-year-old was the right man to come into the side in the absence of the injured Manu Tuilagi.
Lancaster explained: "With Manu being injured we had a decision to make, and when I came round to looking at all the permutations and combinations, this was the obvious selection for me.
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"It creates an opportunity for him to show his capabilities, this is his chance.
"Hopefully he'll take it and leave me with a difficult decision to make next week.
"This is a great opportunity to look at him.
"I've always wanted to have ball-players in the backline, as well as people with pace and power.
"And Billy's got an opportunity to demonstrate he's got all three.
"His self-confidence has improved through regular rugby, and his game understanding and decision-making under pressure.
"He's got an excellent passing game and a good kicking game too, and he's a great option for us."
Lancaster believes soaring confidence has helped Twelvetrees start to realise his rich potential this season, after his summer switch from Leicester to the Cherry and Whites.
The former Leeds coach said: "I first coached Billy in the Saxons and you could see the potential in him.
"His opportunity to play regularly at Gloucester has helped him develop.
"He more than deserved his place in the initial squad, and that's given him the confidence to kick on.
"He came in as injury cover during the autumn, but the big difference was being named in the EPS and that gave him the confidence to allow him to be himself here.
"He's demonstrated that confidence, and the ability to control people around the field."