Massive local interest surrounded England’s 6 Nations opener on Saturday - but none more so then in the Twelvetrees household in Wisborough Green.
And they weren’t to be disappointed as Billy Twelvetrees capped a stunning international debut with a try as England beat Scotland 38-18 at Twickenham.
A 30-strong contingent of family, friends and former school mates from The Weald in Billingshurst witnessed the Gloucester centre take to the international stage like a seasoned professional.
Among them was mum Beverley who said: “We’re all absolutely delighted, he did so well and made the whole family so proud.
“He took the whole thing in his stride really as he always does but we know how hard he’s worked for this and what it means to him.”
The 24 year old was then able to celebrate with those closest to him the next day at the family home in Wisborough Green.
In front of 80,000 passionate fans England produced an exciting display of attacking rugby to defend the Calcutta Cup.
Former Horsham, Pulborough and Haywards Heath colt Twelvetrees got better and better as the match went on and made his day even more memorable when he took a Ben Youngs pass to surge through to score.
“I screamed so loud I felt sorry for the person in front of me,” Beverley said. “It didn’t surprise me, his blood was up and when Billy’s in the zone he’s flying, he thrives off pressure.”
First on the scene to celebrate with Twelvetrees was Joe Launchbury, the former Christ’s Hospital School pupil who is another international newcomer generating a great deal of excitement.
But while Launchbury is guaranteed a place in England’s second row for this weekend’s Ireland match, Twelvetrees is not. The return from injury of Manu Tuilagi could see him replaced when Stuart Lancaster names his team on Friday. Either way the name Twelvetrees is sure to be a big part of English rugby for years to come.