BILLY TWELVETREES has been made Gloucester Rugby club captain for the 2014-15 season.

The 24-year-old, in his third season at the club, is also a key member of the England squad and plays for the British and Irish Lions.

Twelvetrees became the first player from Kingsholm since Phil Vickery in 2001 to represent the Lions on the victorious tour of Australia in 2013 and has since cemented his place as a keystone in the England midfield under Stuart Lancaster.

Twelvetrees stepped in to take the captaincy of Gloucester during the absence of Tom Savage last season.

"It is an honour to take the role of club captain of this great club," said Twelvetrees.

"I've had the honour to have represented two of England's greatest clubs in Leicester Tigers and the Cherry and Whites and to now have the privilege to captain Gloucester is something I dreamt of and I am thankful to the coaches for entrusting me with the role.”

Director of rugby David Humphreys said: "In the short time that I have known and worked with Billy, he has led by example in everything he does, both on and off the pitch.

"We're all delighted that he has accepted the captaincy and his leadership and international experience will be crucial as the players and management prepare for the start of the new season.”

GLOUCESTER will kick off their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign with a home clash against French Brive in round one on Thursday, October 16 (7.45pm).

Round two sees the Cherry and Whites and Oyonnax face one another for the first time at the Stade Charles Mathon at the foot of the French Alps on Saturday, October 25 (8.45pm).

The back-to-back fixtures in December see Italian side Zebre arrive at Kingsholm over the weekend of December 4-5-6-7 for round three, with the Cherry and Whites travelling to Parma the following weekend.

Oyonnax are the visitors to Kingsholm in round five, with what could be a vital trip to the Stadium Amedee-Domenech to face Brive in round six.