HE MIGHT be 20-years of age with only 23 senior appearances under his belt in all competitions, but Anthony Allen is relishing the 'fantastic, unbelievable' news he will make his England debut against New Zealand on Sunday.
The Gloucester centre has been named alongside Newcastle's Jamie Noon in England's midfield for their opening autumn international against the All Blacks and he said: "It is obviously a fantastic feeling - pretty unbelievable - and I don't think the news will have time to sink in between now and Sunday.
"It has obviously come around very quickly for me - at the start of the season I was just concentrating on establishing myself at Gloucester - so to be selected for England so quickly is something very special.
"All I can do now is be as professional as I can, keep my head down, listen to the experienced people I have around me and prepare as well as I can for this game.
"It's obviously a massive challenge and to play for your country is fantastic but I just have to concentrate on getting all the small margins in my game right, relax and do a good job.
"The England coaches said my game stepped up against Leinster and again at the weekend as well. They think I am playing well and have picked me on form."
Allen, a former Millfield School pupil, has made eight appearances this season and has scored four tries, including two in Gloucester's Heineken Cup defeat against Agen on Saturday.
He will be joined in the starting line-up by his Gloucester team-mate Iain Balshaw at full-back.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.