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.
Speaking after the 55-0 win over CA Brive, Jonny May told GRTV that he's delighted that the team's hard work is starting to pay dividends but was equally happy for his friend and team mate, Charlie Sharples, on what was a big night for his fellow winger.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys insisted that Gloucester are looking forward to kicking off the new European Rugby Challenge Cup against Brive on Thursday evening, although an unfamiliar opponent and a five day turnaround will pose a challenge.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys felt that his Gloucester side put themselves in a position to put Saracens under real pressure at Allianz Park on Saturday, praising his team's commitment and defence, while admitting that a lack of accuracy hit their chances in the second half.
Speaking to the local media at Allianz Park, Tom Savage was disappointed after the defeat at Saracens, but claimed Gloucester did plenty of good things and could've taken more than a losing bonus point.