Competition for places at Tigers is tough, says Anthony Allen
Competition for places at Welford Road this season should drive the players to do that bit extra to keep hold of their shirt, says Leicester Tigers' Anthony Allen.
Tigers have brought in eight new faces over the summer, including Dan Bowden from London Irish.
New Zealand-born Bowden can play at either fly-half or centre, so could well challenge Allen for his position in the Tigers centres.
But Allen has started in all four of Tigers' Aviva Premiership fixtures so far this season ahead of their clash with Exeter tomorrow – a side who have got the better of Tigers in their last three meetings.
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The 26-year-old said that competition for places is a very good thing.
"If you look across the team, we've got a number of good players in each position and they are all fighting to get their hands on one shirt – it's like that all over the pitch.
"But throughout the year there's going to be injuries and boys are going to get their chance to step up and do well. If they do, they'll be given another opportunity to carry on playing in the shirt.
"It's down to them, and likewise the people who have got it now, to play well and keep the shirt.
"It will drive you in training to do all the extra bits to make sure you keep the shirt and push on and I'm confident of doing that."
As well as his Tigers duties, Allen will also have one eye on his international career.
Six years since he won his first two England test caps, he has been selected in Stuart Lancaster's Elite Performance Squad and also played in an England XV that faced the South African Barbarians in June.
Allen said he is focused on the current run of Tigers games which will, hopefully, give him some good form going into the autumn and give him a genuine opportunity to get another cap.
"I set expectations high for myself to be able to do that, keep working hard here and hopefully that reward will come," he said. "It will all come down to form.
"I don't want to peak right now – it's about building up to the Heineken Cup and playing well in that.
"We're going to Toulouse and that won't be easy, and then Ospreys at home, so two good games there and I'll be in with a shout."