Billy Twelvetrees insists the next two months are vital if he is to secure a place in the centre for England’s home World Cup campaign in 2015.
Twelvetrees made his first start for England since the second Test of the tour to New Zealand as Australia arrived at Twickenham for an autumn finale.
The 26-year-old wasn’t called upon at all for the opening two Tests of November against the All Blacks and South Africa but appeared off the bench for Samoa.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster went for Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond for the first two Tests before swapping the latter for Owen Farrell for Samoa with George Ford coming in at fly-half.
Twelvetrees then partnered Barritt during the Wallabies win as Farrell dropped to the bench however there is a new kid on the block in the form of cross-code convert Sam Burgess.
The two could meet each other when Bath face Gloucester later this month and Twelvetrees, who featured on the British & Lions’ successful tour of Australia in 2013, admits it will be an important contest.
“It’s such a hotly contested position much more than even last season,” Twelvetrees told the Guardian. “There’s a huge prize in the World Cup.
“Stuart Lancaster always says you have to play well for your club first. Whoever does well in the next eight club games will play against Wales (in the Six Nations).
“It’s a key game (Bath). It’s massive. These are the guys you want to play against. But once the game starts you don’t notice who’s got the ball.
“If it’s Sam you’ll just see big knees powering towards you. Fordy (George Ford) knows him very well and he says how much Sam is enjoying it.”