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Billy Twelvetrees: 'Ed started pre-season with us and and nine months on he’s really struggling. Jesus Christ.'

The former England and Lions centre, leaves Kingsholm a legend after over a decade's service, and in that time he has matured into a man

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Tindall vs Tuilagi: 'Pretty much different to any player in the world'

By Liam Heagney
(Graphic by BT Sport)

Gallagher Premiership players have had their say on whether Mike Tindall or Manu Tuilagi should be selected on the BT Sport Immortals XV team. The sports broadcaster has been getting fans to select their Immortals XV before the selection culminates in a round-table debate show on May 27 featuring Ugo Monye, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ben Kay and Austin Healey.


Marcos Ayerza, Schalk Brits, Martin Castrogiovanni, Maro Itoje, Martin Johnson, Joe Worsley, Neil Back, Dallaglio, Danny Care, Jonny Wilkinson, Chris Ashton and Will Greenwood have all topped fan polls in recent days, and BT Sport have now added the views of numerous high-profile players to the debate over who should wear the No13 shirt.

George Ford, who has played with Tuilagi for England, Sale and Leicester, had no hesitation in picking his teammate over the 2003 Rugby World Cup winner. “Manu. Yeah, Manu,” enthused Ford in footage filmed at Twickenham, the ground that will host the 2023 Premiership final between Sale and Saracens.

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“I have been lucky enough to play with him, so I obviously understand what it is like to play with him. There is not many players like him in the world who can consistently do what he does.”

Alex Goode, the Saracens full-back who will be coming up against Tuilagi in the showpiece final on Saturday week, added: “I have got a lot of time for Mike. But what Manu is able to do is pretty much different to any player in the world and when he is at his best you see a different England. When England doesn’t have him it’s remarkable. Yeah, I think Manu.”

Scrum-half Care, who saw off the challenge of Richard Wigglesworth and Ben Youngs in his online poll, showed his age by remembering the time when Tuilagi and Tindall were England teammates from just before the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. “They were great together as a combination,” he recalled.

“We caught a little bit of that at the back end of Mike’s England career and Manu came in, they played a little bit together. That would be a hell of a combination now if you could get paired again. I’d just stick them together.”


Tindall did garner support from Bristol skipper Steven Luatua, the former All Blacks flanker. “It’s a difficult one as the prime old-timers, they won the World Cup… in that case, I’m going to go for the proven record, I’m going to go for Mike.”

However, current England players Tommy Freeman and Jamie George sided with Tuilagi. “He’s looking at me, so Tuilagi,” quipped Freeman before George added: “Manu, there’s no one else.”

BT Sport’s Premiership Immortals celebrates the greatest players in the history of Premiership Rugby. From May 4 until the Premiership final on May 27, fans will be able to have their say on who they think deserves to have a spot in the competition’s all-time team. Cast your vote 


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RUGBYPASS+ Billy Twelvetrees: 'Ed started pre-season with us and and nine months on he’s really struggling. Jesus Christ.' Billy Twelvetrees: 'Ed started pre-season with us and and nine months on he’s really struggling. Jesus Christ.'