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Northampton 19:45 Gloucester

Tindall backs Allen to shine

By Rob Lancaster.   Last Updated: 01/11/06 6:26pm

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Mike Tindall insists age should not be a barrier to international selection as Anthony Allen prepares to make his England debut on Sunday.

The 20-year-old centre has been thrown in at the deep end by coach Andy Robinson as his first start sees him come up against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Tindall knows better than most about Allen's qualities as the pair play together for Guinness Premiership outfit Gloucester.

The World Cup winner - who has managed just one appearance off the bench so far this season - feels his Cherry and Whites colleague deserves to get his chance after some impressive performances for his club.

"The way he has been playing has been outstanding," Tindall told Sky Sports News.

"He was always going to be in the mix. It's not an easy opener for him, but it's a challenge for him and hopefully he will do his best.

"I'm a firm believer that if you feel they are ready to play then you should play them."

Head Coach Dean Ryan also feel Allen can make an immediate impact for England and insists the club will do all they can to support their rising star.

"Over the last couple of weeks he has done very well for us," he said.

"What we have been talking about is making sure we have the right infrastructure in place for a 20-year-old playing international rugby.

"That's something we have to get right. Too often we just see the player on the field.

"Hopefully we can do our bit here and make sure that we support Anthony in the right way.

"We wish him luck for the weekend."

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