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Ex-England centre Billy Twelvetrees calls time on his career

By Josh Raisey
Billy Twelvetrees of England looks on during the International match between France and England at Stade de France on August 22, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Former England international Billy Twelvetrees has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 35.


The 22-cap England centre spent the final season of his career in the Championship with winners Ealing Trailfinders having previously been a regular in the Gallagher Premiership for over a decade.

After starting his professional career with the Bedford Blues, Twelvetrees joined Leicester Tigers in 2009. While at Welford Road, he sprung onto the England radar, and was selected for the Saxons in 2011.

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Following a move to Gloucester in 2012, Twelvetrees was called into England’s senior squad by Stuart Lancaster, and made a try-scoring debut against Scotland in 2013.

Later that year, he was drafted into Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions squad midway through their tour of Australia, but did not feature in a Test against the Wallabies.

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Then-Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys named the Englishman club captain ahead of the 2014/15 season, where he would lead the club to European Challenge Cup success at the end of the campaign.

He would go on to play 22 times for England, with his final cap coming in a World Cup warm-up Test in 2015 before failing to make Lancaster’s final squad. Though adept at playing at fly-half, every one of Twelvetrees’ starts for England came in the centres.


Despite his international career ending in 2015, Twelvetrees remained a stalwart for the Cherry and Whites in the midfield before bringing his 11-year stay at Kingsholm to an end last year. He made over 270 appearances for the West Country outfit.

Gloucester director of rugby George Skivington described the former player as a “club legend” when he left in 2023.

“Billy is such a quality individual as a bloke and as a rugby player,” he said.

“I have known him a long time and I have got all the time in the world for him. There is no doubt that he will be considered a club legend for his contribution to this club and this city over the last decade.”


Twelvetrees’ most recent boss Ben Ward after his retirement was announced: “Although we only had Billy with us for a year, he made a big impact on our squad. His career speaks for itself and he can be incredibly proud of all that he has achieved.

“We will miss him as a player, but more than that, he is one of the good guys and a really good bloke that we will miss even more. We wish him all the best for the future.”



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Toaster 20 days ago

Well done 36

simon 21 days ago

What a ridiculous comment! On a guys retirement… do love an armchair coach! #FOS

Ian 21 days ago

One of the worst players to wear an English and British Lions shirt ever

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

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