Former Horsham, Pulborough and Sussex rugby star Billy Twelvetrees has ridden an England see-saw in 2014 but with George Ford on his inside, the Gloucester centre is confident of ending it on a high on Saturday.
Twelvetrees has been handed the No.12 shirt for Australia’s visit to Twickenham this weekend, joining Brad Barritt in midfield as the Red Rose go in search of a second win this autumn.
After starting all five Six Nations clashes earlier in the year, with Luther Burrell on his outside, the 26-year-old endured a difficult trip to New Zealand in the summer.
He was then left out of the matchday 23 when the All Blacks visited this month and after forcing his way back into Stuart Lancaster’s thoughts, Twelvetrees is relishing the opportunity to show what he can do.
“I really enjoyed playing with Luther in the Six Nations and we played some good rugby there,” he said.
“Going to New Zealand it was difficult and for whatever reason I didn’t play as well as I could do.
“You lick your wounds and you come back stronger from it. It’s all for the greater good of England rugby and as a squad we are in a great position.
“I’ve always believed in myself and it probably wasn’t knocked at all, to be honest.
“When you’re growing up you always get knocks, ups and downs and you don’t play well and you do play well but that’s what being in a good squad is about.
“My confidence is high and I’m really enjoying being in this squad at the moment.
“It’s just a huge honour for me to be playing for England again. When something you really enjoy doing is taken away it’s a rubbish feeling and anyone would vouch for that in professional sport.”
And the former Leicester Tigers youngster, who linked up with Red Rose fly-half Ford back in his Welford Road days, is hoping to send Australia back home in a foul mood.
“As soon as I found out I was playing we sat down, me and George, and had good conversations about what we need to do as a team, what will help him out and what will help the half-backs and the forwards out,” he added.
“That’s what a 12 is there for, but also to get over the gain line and it’s something that I really enjoy.
“It’s England-Australia and you get no bigger matches as an Englishman, so I personally can’t wait to get out there and help George and the team get into great areas to win the game.”
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