England manager Roy Hodgson named his provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016 on Monday afternoon.
There were very few surprises among those named, although the inclusion of Townsend and Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford were among the unexpected names.
Townsend’s inclusion comes on the back of a fine run of form at the end of the season as he almost single-handedly fought to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
And he has admitted to the club’s official website that he was surprised by his selection given he has not been involved in the last few squads.
"I'm delighted that the manager noticed and recalled me to the squad,” he told nufc.co.uk.
"I was a bit surprised because I haven't been involved in the last few squads, but I was extremely delighted and it's a huge honour to be called up.”
Townsend will now be hoping that he can make it into the final 23-man squad that will travel to the tournament in France this summer.
Hodgson certainly has a tough decision to make about the three players he will cut from his current selection.
Rashford is likely to drop out, while it is unlikely that Fabian Delph will be in the final selection given his season.
Beyond that though it is hard to see who should be removed, and it may end up being a decision made solely on fitness above anything else.