Had his father not been a tree surgeon, then it would be Billy Fentiman – rather than Billy Twelvetrees – making his England debut in rugby’s Calcutta Cup on Saturday. How so? Because the Gloucester centre’s father took his wife’s name when he married, to make his nascent arboriculture business more eye-catching.
Thus Kevin Twelvetrees (né Fentiman) also secured his place among the “nominatively determined”, namely those with names that are more than just names. Fans of the concept claim the country is awash with vicars called Vickers, opticians called Seymour and bankers called Rich. Perhaps. There is certainly no denying that Bob Flowerdew is a respected panellist on Gardeners’ Question Time, that Frances Crook leads the Howard League for Penal Reform, or that Judge Judge heads the judiciary. The only question, then, is what the Twelvetrees handle might mean for Billy’s rugby?