Stuart Lancaster has faith in Gloucester duo Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees
Last Updated: 09/01/13 10:36pm
Stuart Lancaster: competition for places
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is confident that Gloucester duo Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees can make an impact in the upcoming Six Nations.
Fly-half Burns enjoyed an eye-catching Test debut off the bench against the All Blacks and Lancaster has long been a fan of new call-up Twelvetrees, who offers defensive solidity at inside centre and a second play-making option.
"Their form for their club (is what has impressed me)," Lancaster said. "They have performed well together. They each credit the other for their form.
"They are coming into very competitive positions. We have Toby Flood and Owen Farrell at 10 who have played well for us.
"Billy comes in against Brad Barritt, who has been exceptional in the autumn and for Saracens.
Farrell backing new boys
"It was a tight call between Billy Twelvetrees and Anthony Allen but we wanted to get a chance to work with Billy. We are really excited about this squad going forward."
David Strettle has replaced Charlie Sharples as a specialist wing because of the form he has shown on the left for Saracens, although that does not necessarily spell the end of England using full-backs out wide.
Harlequins' Mike Brown was utilised there to great effect against the All Blacks while Lancaster considers Foden to be one of the best finishers in the country.
"The 33-man squad gives us depth," Lancaster said. "The opportunity for David has come alongside a move to the left wing. We have Christian Wade (in the Saxons) pushing Chris Ashton very hard on the right wing.
"David has moved to left at Saracens and his form has been outstanding but Mike Brown was fantastic there against the All Blacks."
Lancaster is optimistic that full-back Alex Goode could be available at the start of, or early in, the Six Nations as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Alex Corbisiero is "another couple of weeks" away from being fit as he struggles with an on-going knee injury.