British and Irish Lions: England centre Billy Twelvetrees earns call-up

Last Updated: 13/06/13 6:45am

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Billy Twelvetrees: Lions call-up

Billy Twelvetrees: Lions call-up

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Billy Twelvetrees has been called up by the British and Irish Lions as cover for the tour of Australia.

The Gloucester centre was a try scorer in England's 32-3 victory over Argentina last weekend in his fifth Test for his country, but he will now leave South America to fly to Sydney.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has injury concerns over a number of players, including fly-halves Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton.

Saracens' Farrell is struggling with a dead leg and Sexton has a hamstring problem, while centre Manu Tuilagi suffered a 'stinger' in the victory over the Queensland Reds.

Twelvetrees becomes the fourth player to be called up as cover by the Lions, with loosehead props Alex Corbisiero and Ryan Grant and Ireland wing Simon Zebo also late additions to the touring party.

"The nature of a Lions tour means that there will inevitably be knocks which take time to recover from," Gatland told the Lions' official website.

"The whole squad have worked hard but a lot of the backs have doubled up over the last two games, either starting or from the bench.

Versatility

"Billy played well in the first Test for England and he provides that versatility to cover a variety of positions."

"Billy played well in the first Test for England and he provides that versatility to cover a variety of positions."
Warren Gatland

England head coach Stuart Lancaster was keen to wish Twelvetrees well on his switch of tour.

"All the England players and management are delighted for Billy to get this great opportunity," he said in an official statement.

"He's played well for England this year, underlined that form with his display against Argentina at the weekend and goes with our full support and blessing."

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