'Allen is most consistent No.12 in the game'
October 2, 2013
Anthony Allen has been one of Leicester's mainstays in the centres © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers coach Paul Burke is in no doubt over who should replace the injured Brad Barritt in the centres for England.
England's centre options
Barritt will miss the autumn Tests with a foot injury while Manu Tuilagi is also a doubt following a torn pectoral muscle. The two injuries leave Stuart Lancaster with a few tough choices to make over who should fill the void at 12 and 13 for the Test side.
As things stand, Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees and Bath's Kyle Eastmond are the two fit centres in the Elite Player Squad - Toby Flood and Owen Farrell can slot in there but they are likely to be vying for the fly-half spot. Lancaster is therefore likely to turn to the Saxons to add a few more names to the mix with Northampton's Luther Burrell, Bath's Jonathan Joseph, Saracens' Joel Tomkins and Harlequins' George Lowe all in with a shout.
For Burke, he believes Tigers inside centre Anthony Allen is the right man to step up. Allen was handed his England debut back in 2006 by then coach Andy Robinson but he has not played for the Test side since.
Burke describes Allen's two-cap tally as a "travesty" and tips the 27-year-old to solve England's woes in the centres.
"For me, week in and week out he is the most consistent number 12 in the game," Burke told the Mirror. "Anthony has been the ultimate professional on and off the field - exceptional since his arrival from Gloucester.
"If they overlook Anthony, it's our gain, isn't it? But he is there or thereabouts, and I hope he is being talked about by the selectors."
Allen has started three of Leicester's four matches this term and he is eager to focus on club form rather than thinking of opportunities at Test level. He said: "I just have to concentrate on the next month or so with Leicester and you never know. If I keep playing well, I'll take that to the selectors and they will watch my game."
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