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.
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Premiership Rugby have this morning confirmed the order of fixtures for the 2015/16 season, and Gloucester Rugby will start their campaign at Kingston Park, taking on Newcastle Falcons on Friday 16 October, 19:45.