sport

Twelvetrees aiming high

Billy Twelvetrees is determined to make his mark at centre for England in the forthcoming Six Nations campaign.

Manu Tuilagi's chest injury means either Brad Barritt or Luther Burrell will play alongside Twelvetrees in midfield for Saturday's opener against France in Paris and the Gloucester playmaker is eager to make the partnership succeed.

"You get scrutinised in whatever position you play. We've got huge ambition," said Twelvetrees.

"Personally I have massive ambition to play in the centre for England and do as well as I can, creating things so that we can score tries.

"It's up to us at 10-12-13 to create opportunities, to punch holes and to give boys space. We definitely have the personnel to do that.

"Week-in, week-out in the Premiership the boys are scoring tries and creating opportunities, it's just about getting the balance right and doing it in an England shirt."

The 25-year-old now has eight caps to his name after featuring in the autumn Tests against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

A poor match against the Wallabies put his defence in the spotlight but that was met with a swift vote of confidence from head coach Stuart Lancaster.

"It was massive to have Stuart's trust. You want the coach to trust you and you want the players' trust around you," Twelvetrees said.

"That was particularly important for that second game after having not played not so well in the first one.

"I was fully aware of that and wanted to crack on and put it to bed. I thought I did that. In the last two games I was pleased with what happened.

"The loss to New Zealand was obviously disappointing but I felt we really fronted up and took it to them. It was a huge learning curve."