The story behind Twelvetrees
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:45
What do twelve trees [threes] make?
By rights, Billy Fentiman rather than Billy Twelvetrees should be making his England debut this weekend.
That's nothing against the 24-year-old Gloucester centre's ability to face Scotland in the Calcutta Cup Six Nations clash at Twickenham, following a call-up by England coach Stuart Lancaster to replace the injured Manu Tuilagi, but rather that his father's original surname was Fentiman.
Normally, it is the husband's name that is retained when British couples get married but then Kevin Fentiman broke with established practice when he wed the midfielder's mother, Beverley Twelvetrees.
With a speed off the mark his son will hope to emulate at Twickenham on Saturday, Kevin Twelvetrees wasted little time in making the most of his striking new surname.
"My dad is a tree surgeon," Twelvetrees told Wednesday's Daily Mail. "Twelvetrees, tree surgeons in West Sussex [southern England].
"People always ask him about it. They'll ring up and say, 'Is that Twelvetrees, tree surgeons?' then ask him what his name is and he has to say, 'That is my name'."
And that name is also responsible for Twelvetrees having one of the more unusual nicknames - '36' - in English rugby.
Until last season, Twelvetrees played for English giants Leicester and it was not long before he was 'christened' by their Ireland fullback Geordan Murphy.
"What do twelve trees [threes] make?" said Leicester captain Murphy in his broadest Irish accent. "It's simple, 36."
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