Billy Twelvetrees leaves Leicester for Gloucester

Billy Twelvetrees
Twelvetrees has scored four tries in 13 starts for Leicester this season

Gloucester have confirmed that Billy Twelvetrees will join them from Leicester at the end of this season.

The 23-year-old has signed a two-year deal at Kingsholm, effective from June.

Twelvetrees, who plays centre or fly-half, is currently with the England Saxons squad for their meeting with Ireland on Saturday.

"It's not been an easy decision but I'm looking forward to being part of what is shaping to be an incredibly talented young English back line," he said.

"I'm incredibly grateful to everyone at the Tigers for the role they've played in helping me to get to this point in my career and, of course, all the support from the fans I've had over the last three years.

"In the meantime, though, I'll be fully committed to helping make the rest of the season as successful as possible for Leicester."

Twelvetrees was out of contract at Welford Road in the summer and had spoken of his desire to play at number 12, where he is expected to star for Gloucester.

He has faced competition for a place in Richard Cockerill's squad, with Anthony Allen the club's first-choice inside centre and Manu Tuilagi the preferred outside centre.

Cockerill, Leicester's director of rugby, called Twelvetrees' decision to switch clubs "disappointing".

He added: "I did not want to lose him and he will be fully involved until the end of the season."

"He's desperate to learn and to keep pushing," Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath told BBC Gloucestershire.

"Ultimately it's a chance for him to step up and be a regular at number 12.

"He wants an opportunity and we have to try and create that opportunity here."

Twelvetrees, who began his career with Leicester Lions juniors, made 18 appearances for the Tigers last season with six off the bench.

This season he has made 13 starts in 14 games, scoring four tries in the process.