Lions call up Billy Twelvetrees as backline cover


England's Billy Twelvetrees was today called up to join Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions squad in Australia as backline cover.

Gloucester man Twelvetrees, who can play both centre and fly half, will fly out from Argentina, where he is currently touring with England, and is expected to arrive in Sydney on Friday. 

There has not been an announcement regarding which specific player Twelvetrees is covering but Manu Tuilagi, Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell have all suffered injuries in the past week, resulting in Stuart Hogg appearing at 10 in the Lions’ 64-0 win over Combined Country on Saturday. 

Twelvetrees started at inside centre for England against Argentina last weekend, and was impressive, scoring a try in the comfortable 32-3 win. His link up play with club mate Freddie Burns was particularly exciting. 

The Utility back made his test debut against Scotland in the Six Nations opener this season, scoring a try, and has amassed 5 caps so far.

The Gloucester man offers something different at number 12 for Gatland and is seen as more of a playmaker than the other midfield options. 

He also now becomes only the second out and out inside centre on tour along with Welshman Jamie Roberts. On this tour, both Jonathan Davies and Manu Tuilagi have started matches at inside centre, but both play the majority of their rugby at 13. 

The 24-year-old becomes the fourth player to join the squad following the addition of props Alex Corbisiero and Ryan Grant and Irish winger Simon Zebo. 

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