Six Nations 2014: England feeling confident, declares Twelvetrees
Six Nations 2014: Billy Twelvetrees says England are feeling confident ahead of their clash against champions Wales
Billy Twelvetrees has revealed England are confident of victory as they prepare for a titanic Six Nations battle with at Twickenham on Sunday.
The Gloucester centre has started all three of England’s matches in the championship and survived unscathed after going up against the world’s greatest centre partnership of Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy in their 13-10 win over Ireland at Twickenham 10 days ago.
We are very confident within ourselves of the game-plan we have
Wales head up to South West London full of confidence after bouncing back from a Dublin defeat by thrashing France at the Millennium Stadium on 21 February while England will be looking to overcome the disappointment of last year’s 30-3 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.
“Nothing much changes from our point of view,” Twelvetrees told Sky Sports News. “I think we have got to focus on what we can do as a collective backline and as a team and we are very confident within ourselves of the game-plan we have.
“We are obviously aware of the threats that Wales pose. We were equally aware of the threats Ireland posed – they moved the ball around very well against us and it was difficult.
“But I thought we coped with it very well and it will be exactly the same this Sunday if we focus on ourselves, nullify the big centres and the powers they have in their backline. Fingers crossed it goes well.”
Wales are boosted by the return of Scarlets captain Jonathan Davies, who resumes his partnership with Jamie Roberts at centre and will likely face Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell.
“They are a formidable partnership and they have proven that over the last couple of years for the Lions and Wales,” Twelvetrees said.
“They have done incredibly well, they are always making breaks and always making big tackles – they are a class team throughout one to 15 and their backline is extremely dangerous. Rhys Priestland moves the ball around well and there are a huge amount of threats there.
“But as a team we will look forward to the challenge and we are confident within ourselves. We pride ourselves on our defence and these are the games you look forward to—especially at Twickenham—and it’s one we can’t wait to get to.”
The return to fitness of Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi poses a potential selection dilemma for Stuart Lancaster after calling him up to England’s training squad.
Tuilagi has not appeared in the white of England since that defeat against Wales last year, but Twelvetrees believes the squad has been boosted by his return.
“Manu is extremely sharp like he always is,” he said. “He has a huge physical presence and he’s got great skill attributes.
“He has been training very well, bossing the boys around, bringing his smiley self to training and it’s great to have him back for England Rugby. He’s such a formidable player and it’s great to see him back keeping everyone on their toes.”