/ Six Nations 2016

Billy Twelvetrees set to make England debut against Scotland

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 09:14 | Comments

Billy Twelvetrees looks set to earn his first England cap on Saturday
Billy Twelvetrees looks set to earn his first England cap on Saturday

Uncapped Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees is in line to make his England debut in Saturday's Calcutta Cup showdown with Scotland at Twickenham.

With Manu Tuilagi out injured, Twelvetrees has been confirmed in Stuart Lancaster's 23-man match-day squad in preference to the London Irish outside centre Jonathan Joseph.

Saracens wing David Strettle has also been recalled, having missed the autumn internationals, which means no place in the squad for Northampton full-back Ben Foden.

Lancaster will confirm his starting line-up on Thursday and Twelvetrees is favourite to come into a reshuffled midfield in place of Tuilagi.

Joseph would have slotted straight into the outside centre channel but the England management appear to have cooled on him since his debut in South Africa.

Twelvetrees would come into the side at inside centre with Brad Barritt shifting into the 13 jersey, which he wore for his first two Test appearances in last year's RBS 6 Nations.

Lancaster could press either Owen Farrell or Toby Flood into midfield action alongside Barritt but neither seems a likely option.

Farrell is the incumbent fly-half from England's record 38-21 triumph over New Zealand on December 1 and Lancaster's selection policy leans heavily on rewarding performances.

The experiment of using Flood as an emergency inside centre failed in the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France and he would seem destined for a place on the bench.

Lancaster's other main selection posers are at scrum-half, where Danny Care and Ben Youngs are battling for the nine jersey, and at hooker between Tom Youngs and Dylan Hartley.

Tom Youngs, a converted centre, was one of England's outstanding players when he took over from the injured Hartley in the autumn and that will stand in his favour in selection.

Alex Goode made his comeback from a shoulder injury for Saracens last Sunday but it remains to be seen whether he has done enough after five weeks out to retain the full-back jersey.

If so, then Lancaster must choose between Mike Brown and Strettle on the left wing. If not, then both would start with Brown switching to his natural position at full-back.

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